Friday, October 31, 2014

Black Market Charms

"Black Market Charms”

for San Diego’s Catalyst Magazine by Cecil "C Lue" Disharoon

Winning international critical and commercial success with the Mississippi Mudsharks beginning in San Diego in the early 90’s, Scottie Blinn shared stages with Billy (ZZ Top) Gibbons, Willie Nelson, George (P Funk) Clinton, Dick Dale, Buddy Guy and many visiting Blues stars before the band called it a day in 2009.

Determined to return to the road, he and Roxy Coverdale founded Black Market III, a band reflecting those influences, with metal and grease punk alchemy.

At the tail end of their 4 month European tour through Germany, Belgium, Holland, and England, Catalyst’s Cecil “C Lue” Disharoon caught up with them.

C Lue: Along with Coverdale’s “You,” instrumental surf rock (“Psych Ward”), even Neil Young’s venerable tune “Old Man,” I did notice the importance of blues covers to your sets, dating far back in the tradition ("Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", Wayne Walker’s "All I Can Do Is Cry"—also covered by Mike Ness). Do you feel this frees you to invest your energy into creative solos?

Scottie Blinn: I am a Blues musician to the core of my soul, but don't limit myself to just playing straight or traditional Blues. I always keep that root strong though, because from it all later music I love was born. I feel it is important as a musician and artist to not put limits or rules on the music and art.

As far as soloing, within the Blues there is more room for improvisation. Honestly, for years I have spent a lot of time 'writing' guitar solos, especially for the more Rock songs and originals that aren't straight Blues. To me solos are an extension of the vocal and story being told. They are another way to add to the emotion of a song and should be crafted like a well constructed conversation to convey the message of the song.

That's not to say they are contrived. All the ideas and performances come from the heart, soul, and gut...'off the cuff'. At that point the best parts are put together to form a truly emotional and impactful 'statement' that bolsters the vocal, lyrics, and complete song.

The challenge for me every night is to play that solo better than the night before. Also, sometimes new ideas come in to play that in my mind make that solo even better...seem to always evolve. Then there are those songs where I just cut loose and go for total improvisation. That leads to some pretty epic ideas!

C Lue: How did Gavin become the new drummer for Black Market III? You have punk, surf and metal trappings as well as the blues foundation…lots to play with.

Gavin: Actually, we were both in bands, and I was living and drumming out of the NYC and Boston Music scenes, for about 8 years.

I joined this band, while I was on tour in Europe. I was in a town called Lübeck, in Germany, having a miserable time with dudes I'd been touring with for years. I had just gotten a call, stating that I was not selected for the Morrissey gig (after a great audition, btw) and Scottie messaged me, asking what I was going to do after the tour.

So, from that 2012 tour on, my commute to rehearsal went from a 6 hour plane ride to NYC (I had moved back to San Diego by then), to a 10 minute drive.

I like how I can see this band constantly growing, and each individual contributing, and holding themselves to the highest standards.

C Lue: “Hoist the Rag” is one of your best-represented covers on YouTube---a song written by Tom Waits. (His song “Black Market Baby" inspired the band’s name.) How would you describe Tom's influence on San Diego music, you in particular...what about it speaks most to you?

Scottie: Our first CD, 'Songs That Shake The Cage', centered around ties to music from San Diego roots. Tom Waits was the obvious connection for me. I'm completely taken with the stories, imagery, and poetry of his lyrics, and how the music creates the landscape for this.

He digs deep into the Blues as well, choosing to travel down the darker paths and more dangerous back alleys. That is where I have always come from with my music...a very real place from within not always 'bright and happy', yet always positive.

C Lue: I'd love to send a smooth breaking ball question into those superstitions and badass riffs you racked up as "Black Roses," the title track from your newest record. (Blinn edited the video, featuring clips of classic Noseferatu and Dr. Caligari movies.)

What inspired this particular symbols and superstitions? Using "cross roads" is clever considering its place in blues folk lore, and of course, bad luck is the inspiration for many a blues number. Cross of Salem was a symbol used by Aleister Crowley and 33rd degree Freemasons, among others; it's very evocative!

Scottie: I could spend hours talking about the depth of the symbolism in this song. The idea was to make a contemporary 'traditional' Blues song--- thus the references to superstitions, and the twist of mentioning a 'crossroads'. We always stay away from rehashing the same clichés or writing different words to the typical Blues structure, but this topic is timeless.

In doing so, I dug deep to find less obvious superstitions, or one's that have not been overused in hundreds of Blues songs. "Drinking water poured from the moon's reflection"--poetically written with a Tom Waits influence. Same with "You count the cars in a funeral procession", and "Takin' names and writin' 'em in red."

In the bridge, the message of the song comes alive. "Black Roses growin' wild at the crossroads, hear the howlin' on the Hell Hound's Trail"—these reference the Robert Johnson legend, but are also reflective of evil’s constant pursuit of us, pushing us towards the wrong path.

"The Cross of Salem protects me from the inroads"--this is a three barred cross sometimes ceremoniously carried by Catholic Popes, derived from, and related to, earlier crosses. It is representative of the Pope’s responsibilities, and also symbolizes the sign board above Christ's head, the middle for his outstretched arms, and the bottom where his feet were nailed.

Most importantly to the song (and to me), the three bars also represent the Holy Trinity, as well as the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love.

**(Check out the picture I took at a Baroque Church in Neresheim, Germany just yesterday--Scottie).

You brought up the use of the symbol in various forms to the 33 degree Freemasons and Aleister Crowley. Like many symbols, such as the St. Peter's Cross (inverted, which is how he was crucified so as to not be compared to or imitate Christ) or even the swastika (originally an ancient symbol for good luck, prosperity, life, sun, strength..), the Cross of Salem has also been used by the like to represent their own meanings, or as a symbol of mockery to the Holy Trinity.

"Ring a bell just to keep you away". This is a very old superstition where evil spirits do not like the sound of a ringing bell breaking silence, and also for protection from things in the dark.

Bottom line is, we are faced with, and sometimes bombarded with negativity and evil every day. This is a song about protection from these things.

C Lue: Have your blues travels put you in touch with people who genuinely believe in voodoo, and do you have any lucky hoodoos or superstitions that accompany you on tour?

Scottie: I opened a show in 2004 for New Orleans musician Doctor John. He married Roxy and I in a traditional West African ceremony!

Sorry to disappoint you—no hoodoos or talismans. Roxy and I have complete faith and trust in God…all we need.

C Lue: Are your European tours based around re-visiting old friends and venues? Do you stay with friends or in hotels?

Scottie: I've been touring in Europe for 18 years and have built a great fan base of loyal followers and most importantly, close friends. Show nights are spent in hotels, whereas most off nights we hang with "family".

We typically tour Belgium, Holland, Germany, and England, but also go to Switzerland, France, Spain, and Austria too. I try to balance the established venues with new ones for us, so it's not possible to hit every country on every tour.

C Lue: Any advice for bands wanting to tour Europe?

Scottie: Absolutely! They love American music there, but with the level of over-saturation of bands it had better kick ass! I've been approached by a few people to write a book about it. There will be a ton of great info in there.

As for now, work hard every day, get radio and internet DJ's to spin your songs regularly, make a name for yourself selling CD's in Europe and getting reviews and articles written about your band. Just like home, they won't usually book you if they haven't heard of you.

Scottie also owns and operates Rock Academy of San Diego, which teaches music to children and adults. See their website and add your support.

Cecil “C Lue” Disharoon is a San Diego/ Georgia musician who has also written the Twin Flames/ Southern Gothic Romance novel ‘Anywhere With You’ available on Amazon, and other books and comic books as Integr8d Soul.

(Here you can follow with BM3’s homecoming dates)
Nov. 14th: BNS Brewery, Santee, CA
Nov. 15th Brick by Brick, San Diego, CA
Nov. 22nd Biggs Harley Davidson San Marcos, CA
Nov. 28th Riviera Supper Club, La Mesa, CA

Our Ba-Doom Guy

Here is yo killer/ the North Georgia Thriller/ the real blood spiller/ my rhymin' ain't vanilla/ or every day filler/ but straight cold chillah/ before I hit the pilla / kick a beat like J Dilla/ now I'm gonna treat you to a flow that have fools takin' lesson/ and all the ladies gonna leave them guessin'/ fresh talents like these, are like God's own blessin'/ spend a night with me and you will need confessin'/ better get this while it fresh and out the oven/ can't quit this wit I'm the shit that they be lovin'/ gonna take that love, but I don't need nothin'/ cut a blunt, wrap it up once you crush that big ol' nug in/ smoke it up, get 'em up and get that big ol' hug in/ to a crackly crisp and then we keep on chuggin'/ Ask y'self do you think you can hang with Our Ba-Doom Guy / will you stand out when I give that full room view eye/ better catch me quick if you want to see the sunrise/ catch with your mind and then your boom-boom boom thighs/ if you ain't havin' fun, it's your loss 'cause we all so soon die/ catch a beat with your feet to Our Ba-Doom Guy...Boom Boom, Boom-boom ba-doom...shake the room...and shake your gloom...with our Ba-Doom Guy...boom boom...boom ba-doom...keep your head sly...shake the room...shake y'gloom...with Our Ba-Doom Guy.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Blessed to create culture and come alive --Post 600!

Post 600, catching with a conversation almost two weeks ago, goes out to my buddy Glenn R. Brown. If you like Dark Horse Comics or think you might, look for his artwork in a new comic book from them soon.

Let me say here, you can barely underestimate the importance of being able to write, to every one of us given that precious gift by others who understood it. To write anything, from a grocery list to a text to a Facebook message to a page to a scene to a poem to a series of novels, is to share with potentially anyone who shares the gift to read; you will never truly know all the people who spent time with something born of your private musings, plus hours staring at the ceiling, included free of charge.

He and I were having a conversation about encounters with deeply gifted musicians, when we shared an acknowledgement of how tough it is to go from relative poverty and obscurity to a functioning, bill-paying success who just failed enough times for something to stick anyway.

We also discussed a big pop group's almost-done-deal revival, but that's a surprise for another time. Here's a clue: look up "Deion Estus."

On some level, I feel whatever these people's faults, there's always redemption. Music is such a powerful gift. Yes, everything that was standard thirty years ago is kinda gone.
It is a mind-blowingly horrible time to be a young band, an unestablished song have to be so committed to the power of what your creations do for you, regardless of what they come to mean in the world of Man.
you can't think about how miles it is to've got to think about swimming..and when you're tired, float...but never sink.

He concurs it's maybe the worst time...yet, there's an amazing amount of distribution possibilities for a nominal fee...if you can get it promoted! Glenn referred to it as a digital Pandora's Box.

It also means, potentially, anyone holding a phone could hear or even buy one of my songs; I may find out with a laptop someone wants to read my book, or post a drawing that maybe you remember you said you'd pay me for?

It is quite nearly a Pyrhic sacrfice to be an artist of any stripe...and here I am, soul-devoted to music, writing and art and utterly unable to stop this love affair with any of them, like a man possessed. I know...if you can't score the live shows, you go home hungry. Everyone's tied into some endorsement or they'd all be middle class at best.

Well, I won't even recount the horror stories. And all so one poor soul might find your song hung up in their head, or two people might dance an unforgettable memory. It is to crawl from one crumb to the next, even if you're not spending a dime on booze or weed or anything to make it "easier." It is the most spiritual time to create culture out of the essence of yourself. Yet potentially the most selfless, bravest souls are the ones left to create anything at all. And they, and their devotees, are all that sustains it. It is to live with no surety of one's future. it requires the sweetest gratitude. And yet, I think of all the great minds who came this way to die virtually unheard, because of prejudice, disease, misfortune of every kind...and I realize I'm on the shoulders of giants whose faces I never knew.

I had to admit, one thing that keeps me humbled ever more is the thought of some man or woman or child of any color, working so hard in a field, perhaps even for a harvest that won't save their lives after all. They had all these stories and songs and pictures of art inside them, and they died with no one knowing much what they could do, or even in the case of someone talented, perhaps only getting a chance to sing for dinner even once in a lifetime, who never maybe thought to nor expected a dollar to their name for what they did in the name of enjoying art.

I always credit the understanding of those with whom I'm conversing for the quality of what I imagine to say. Could've only come out talking to one who understands it. It was you, there to listen, that evoked it.

And that is where our gratitude the people whose openness and support evokes the greatest powers of expression to rise within you, within me, so that we might feed undying soul food to the seekers.

And that's what makes the miraculous nature of this age where material sustenance seems elusive for many. Once you reach a certain level of income, however, you're able to take a trip to the beach, or fly to Colorado Springs, or decide you ache at Mount Rushmore and start to wish you were home...or at least back in Colorado Springs. And you can do all this in a matter of days, while a year may have vanished once in the time it'd take to see Wyoming from Georgia, much less actually coming back through New Orleans. When you look at the wonder of it, is it any wonder we are occasionally either floored by the pace of life, or simply at some half-ease with accepting a numbness in your nest after a day of flying with purpose?

We're a moment in an eternal dialogue, the very power that has made human life worthwhile to carry this far down the road. We bear the burden, but are humbled by those with no fame, no comfort, who bore it before us. The idols, yes...but the men and women with lost names who created, as we do, because of the real something that beats our hearts, that ineffable cosmic love that makes man to dream of every inch of Better World we can build. Perhaps it's unique in the universe, and it exists mysteriously, for why would it even be so. Maybe we'll find out one day?

If we can evolve our sense of energetic barter, I'm reasonably certain there's plenty for survival in the foreseeable future. Perhaps we can earn an elevation of our sense of value. But just to come alive and create culture, to make stories, songs, pictures of our moves on a wheel of inspiration!

As for the mystery of what may continue to prove true long after this life is through? Well, as brother Glenn said, that's the reason for this journey. You discover the purposes of many things.

And finally, the purpose of us is to choose creatively. Whatever we do in life.

Please do look up Glenn R. Brown in the upcoming Dark Horse Comics and be amazed for yourself. And thanks for joining me, however long you've been down this road with me. I hope you see the miracle of your life there in your hands, too.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Ten Most Influential Books on My Life

Ten Books which most shaped who I am? In chronological order:

1. My Illustrated Children's Bible Stories
2. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley.
3.Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
4.Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
5. Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
6. Grandmaster's Book of Ninja Training by Masaaki Hatsumi
7. Invisibles by Grant Morrison
8. Don Quijote by Cervantes
9. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Doestoyevsky.
10.Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer. Next would be The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, which fits between nine and ten, and Syzygy by Tau Palamas, which came this year.
Impulsively, I wanted to list Supergods by #GrantMorrison (my present read) as it is at ground zero of my view of the present explosion of my ideas. Lucky 13.

Arguably, Ralph Denyer's Guitar Encyclopedia belongs in that list, and the vast composite of musician biographies and magazine articles cast a spell over it all. That controversial book on the Beatles back in the late '80s was massive to me.

Because it was Essays, I bumped Ralph Waldo Emerson, but reading that on my own was huge at that time in my life; Transcendentalism shaped my freshman year the way Existentialism did my California trip. I can't underestimate the value of Norton Anthology of English Literature but it isn't one single book. Steve Gerber's run of Defenders, which I discovered four years ago, dramatically shaped the way I saw writing superheroes. He was light years away from the comic books of his time, everything he wrote. If you don't read old comic his. I feel that way about Starlin's Warlock, too. Cosmic. Rich with questions and tense adventure...but it was only about ten issues with a cool epilogue. Love and Rockets by the Hernandez Brothers means a lot to me: very femme-centric, funny, and sometimes fantastic and occasionally brilliantly Mexican, but never ever typical mainstream comics. Honestly, Anywhere With You by Cecil Disharoon opened my origins of my adult path in life to me in all its Romantic splendor, and I think that book would open those reflections in anyone, any age, so I recommend it.

The Illiad and Odyssey are huge to me, as are Shakespeare's plays, especially Hamlet. Sometimes a writer like Alan Watts or Poe or Twain matters in a way broader than one book. My view of life and the world was also shaped by Chinua Achebe's Things FAll Apart and The Good EArth by Pearl S. Buck, which came to my hands as I began my life as a #pedicabber surviving by the seat of my pants in #downtownSanDiego. Luigi Pirandello's Enrico Quatro and Six Characters in Search of An Author gave me philosophy-as-drama in a thoroughly modern way. Elaine Pagel's book on the Gnostic Gospels was huge for me, too. Philip K. Dick's key books nearly leap into that mix, especially Divine Invasion. I love Ray Bradbury, Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, and all those poetic short stories; I think he'll be my next science fiction kick. Dharma Bums nearly made it, as did Heinlein's Stranger and To Sail Beyond The Sunset, but they are markers of things I learned in real life from experiences with my friends in a way more influential than those books, in comparison to the above ten's actual impact, because of what the sheer choice to read those did to shape me, rather than a shared ethos already in play (i.e. I was a Beatnik before I read them; knowing Joe Day was more important than Kerouac's book; knowing Jason Megahee or Eldon Dugan was more important than C.S. Lewis's books; Jamison meant more to me than Heinlein's books). Hatsumi's book would've meant nothing without Johann Balasuriya to explore it with us, and Sensei Robert Geyer.

It's quite nearly true my high school text books mean almost as much to me as these others. Your fundamental education opens the entire world of curiosity! Human From Another Outlook (English from Farsi) is my next book read, and something from my new friends Jesse Kindred and Corella are the next stories.

I could easily write a whole blog on each of these. Maybe I should, through the course of the year. I have been meaning to assemble many of these blogs as a book or two at last, as requested by Paula Hill and others. This is a critical crossroads for my creative work; what a wonderful place to assess what brought me here.

P.S. Love Dracula and Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fictional Girls - Integr8d Soul

“Fictional Girls” Lyrics by Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane Music by Lyron

I know a girl named Tiffany Thomas
she left me a note and made me a promise
to be a pen pal while she's far away
Got her postcard in my mail box today

She made it herself-- red shirt Star Trek dudes
it's Captain Picard –is that Dr. Who?
-from cardboard and thread, with googly eyes.
Now how could I thank her?
She loves a surprise...

I love every crazy thing that she does
I'm writing this song just becuz....

Fictional girls make the very best girl friends
Marcileen, Sailor Moon, & Leia in one
You don't have to own her, and you'll never know her
Drawn into her pictures, we have lots of fun

2.She makes her name
she makes silly faces
she makes up her self
and then switches places

Tattoo 91, she colors her hair
She cartoons a creature-is she really there?

She finds her cute glasses, her hair is bright blue
I'll make her a postcard when I have me some glue

I love all those crazy things that she does
I'm writing this song just becuz....

Fictional girls make the very best girl friends
Marcileen, Sailor Moon, & Leia in one
You don't have to own her, and you'll never know her
Drawn into her pictures, we have lots of fun!

We have lots of fun, we have lots of fun (outro)

Inspired by a real postcard and a real girl who made herself up.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams. My role model. Doesn't that explain things... R.I.P.

Shit. Robin Williams is gone.

Mondays already have a bad name. This isn't helping.

Oh death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Wouldn't it be great if I could make you laugh? You know you're going to sit here with me and read about one of the funniest people ever and his sad ending. But you know, sometimes, even as an adult, I'd think to pull out my hand in that mock Mr. Spock gesture and offer a hand shake with “Na-noo Na-noo”?

You know when I was a kid, I used to sit on my head on the sofa sometimes. If someone was watching. Maybe that explains something.

There's a certain emotional depth in all my favorite comedians. They understand pain and loss and beautiful things passed by better than many people want to admit to themselves.

If I had to tell you whether I was Spider-Man or Mork more when I was a child, it'd be hard to really say. (Fonz, then Bat Man, then Hulk, Iron Man, & Super Man were probably the runners-up. Uhm then maybe Wonder Woman.) I loved their wise cracks. I loved their weird perspectives. I was half in love with Mindy, myself. I offered to drink water with my finger. I called Orson.

When you bond with an actor like I did with Robin Williams, you smile and check out whatever they're doing. The irony today of me remembering him from What Dreams May Come is...I don't know what that is.

I was so glad to see Popeye, and I'm glad I saw it as a boy when I did. I know that was the first thing he did the critics hated, but it was so fun. This from the guy who went on to work with Walter Cronkite. Say what you will about the script, but Robin was the go-to guy to be a cartoon come to life.

My Captain, my captain! I saw Dead Poets Society in probably the most formative summer of my life, when they took the brightest kids they could find and squirreled us away on the hottest college campus in Georgia (666 of us or so I believe) and saved a few of us from a redneck mentality for life. Ah, shit, Neil commits suicide by hanging. C'mon, Robin, give us a break! I loved that movie more than nearly anything I ever saw to that point. It was a testament to different perspectives. It was a loving tribute to the difference a great teacher makes, and the power of literature to make a life thrive with poetry in one's deed and reflections. Mr. Keating rocked. I discovered post-modernist thought and truly angst-ridden poetry and Excalibur all the same summer we shot a video for "Life in the Fast Lane" as an homage to Governor's Honors. Never in my life had I even SEEN a video camera in those days, you lucky little Super 8 middle class brats. I did my first acting as a theater minor. I did this metaphysical improvised argument about "blue light!" versus "darkness!" with my friend Mark. I never had such smart and funny friends, and it was before social networking so I lost them all. I did a lot of comedy that summer. Nobody shaped that impulse more than Robin.

I had not discovered the depths of Arthurian mythos in my life when I did discover "The Fisher King." What a challenging movie! Brilliant questioning of reality and the appearance of things. Compassionate view of the homeless and mentally ill. Haven't seen it almost since it came out, but it's startling to remember his Lear-like performance.

He did many tours with the USO, at least as recently as Iraq and Afghanistan. No one could use a laugh more than those guys and gals. I loved Good Morning, Viet Nam!. I thought it was such a great reprisal of what made his stand up comedy worked. I was in love with '60's culture already, so the movie fascinated me. I've broken out singing “Viva Dnang Me, grab a rope and hang me” so many times when I was alone. Ah, dude, that's not funny anymore! This from the guy who compared functional alcoholics to parapalegic lap dancers..."yeah, you can do it, just not as well as the others!" "I went to rehab in Wine Country, to keep my options open..."

You know, Robin once said: “if you can remember the '60's, you probably weren't there.” Hahahah!

He also said:

Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?
If it's the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone line?
Do you think God gets stoned? I think so. Look at the platypus.
Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.
Reality! What a concept.
We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.
God gave men a brain and a penis. Unfortunately he only gave them enough blood supply to run one at a time.
You're only given one little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.

And he said:

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas change the world.

I probably watched Mrs. Doubtfire as many multiple times as I ever watch any movie (about five times is the limit for me, kids; I'm already busy seeing imaginary things). I loved watching his face come off and fall in the street. I loved watching him play with his kids. I loved watching him give poor Pierce Brosnan the business. Who else could make Sally Fields look like a villain?

And I guess Patch Adams is about where he lost the crowd. Too sentimental, I guess. Too silly. Too many voices. Too much of a guy for whom “too much” was a brand! I'm glad he did that. His work was not always for kids.

And there's Hook, and I still need to see that and Bicentennial Man; I just don't watch as many movies as the average American. But I have seen Good Will Hunting, which was a nice surprise: him playing a different kind of genius than a comic. A little more like Robin with the amplitude turned down.

Aladdin! How could I forget that one?!? I never had a friend like him! Talk about a man suited to be a cartoon. Probably my favorite Disney cartoon ever. The only character who truly shared Robin's power to become anything.

I was working from memory. We actually saw and enjoyed "Jack" in the theater; it kinda made you think. It had that heart-tug that comedies always try to do these days and it was a bit creepy but...innocent.

It was a career so varied that I could actually forget "Jumanji" and "Night At the Museum 2" without an imbd listing handy! And those were SOMEbody's favorite movies growing up. I remember Jumanji now...very imaginative. Not unlike "The Cat in The Hat" crossed with a board game mixed up in a movie with that most energetic of stars.

But it was the Mork and Mindy reruns that REALLY did the brain damage for me.

I absolutely loved his stand up comedy shows. He was nuts even when he was older, doing GPS voices like Bob Dylan, Scottish accents, a whole Julliard repertoire of observations. And remember, “texting and driving at the same time is like jerking off and juggling at the same time. Too many balls in the air at one time!” Then he goes into Blue Tooth...oh, God. Then he talks about gymnastics as sideways pole dancing, and taking Michael Phelps off Frosted Flakes because he smoked pot "a failure of marketing"...and you can't help it. This is the saddest day you could think about Robin Williams, but I defy you not to laugh.

When I finally saw his stand-up from the Mork era, I laughed to tears. How cruel is it to ever think, “wow, he's even better on drugs.” How blithely unaware of how much that life sucks you can be when you're not living it.

I was sorry to see him checking into rehab yet again and to know his drinking problem wasn't done for. “How hard does this poor guy have to fight?” I asked. I guess the answer became “too damn hard.”

And today, there's millions of us who wish we could've returned a bit of the cheer. He made the world laugh.
Funeral For A Friend...two absolute contemporary-day titans of my creative world meet.

I've had thoughts of ending it all pop in more often than you'd quickly guess if you know me. In recent weeks, as before, I always had the lucidity to think “you mean, you are just tired as hell and need some kind of stillness. You, you'll never quit! No matter how unfair it seems, how neglected you feel your work is. How stupid you think it is for your work to be ignored. You had a good life! You are loved. You love lots of people (potentially, everyone!). You could never for a second really do that to the people who care about you. Because maybe it's hard to open up about those macabre thoughts without people treating you like a whiny bitch and being like 'suck it up, my life's blah blah blah' ---I don't care, I was just sad a minute, bite me. How dare I tell you I felt crazy.

"But you know it will get better. That's why you're not addicted to anything but lovin'. You know it will feel like Christmas Day with more love and presents than you can ever hope to unwrap, very soon. You will make it that way. You will perceive it as such. And without any action whatsoever, with a bit of mental quietude, you will find profound power from the source of life inside you.”

If you think my facile cheer is cheesy, well, tough cheese! Your cynicism grates me, too. It's an alternative to the spite necessary to hurt myself and in doing so hurt others. I'm practically driven by impulses, but “the ability to foresee consequences is the mark of a profound person..” If you think I'm naive, I assure you, I've seen the darkness, buddy, and I just gave it a seat by the stage.

I can't help but think of the shadow a suicide leaves across a life's works, great or small. We learn more and more how we ARE our brains, and how we have to take care of them. You really do live in the world of your thoughts, the one made by your impressions; what you decide is true defines objective reality for you, but it's subject to what you choose as your focus.

Reality. What a concept.

He's always going to make us laugh, though. I just turned on the stand up mentioned above and started laughing, and here it is the day he died. Maybe even the day he killed himself. Because man...what a maniac. He imitated all the accents of humanity! He pretended to be from another planet and SOLD it. Cerebral, but completely accessible. I'm sorry he's gone. I'm sorry he had to be so sad and angry and disappointed enough to go that way. He was honored and the peer to the greats. He's still the voice of a friend. And he left something a lot bigger than a sad suicide on a Monday.

eel So Alien by Integr8d Soul (for Robin Williams) (Cecil Disharoon/Lyron)

riff based on am/G/F/Amaj7 (3x)
Am/G/F G Em
Nanoo, Nanoo /Mork calling Orson, Mork calling Orson
F G F Em
Sometimes I don't get this planet/ and it's starting to show
F G Am F G Amaj7
The things these creatures do for money when it doesn't even make them happy
F G Am E
no wonder they think it's crappy and it's starting to blow

Bsus 2 G Em
Shazbot, you've got to dream / of an inner peace, of a new release
Bsus2 G Em Amaj7
You've got to meet yourself/ asking “hey what do I do?” Nanoo, Nanoo
Dmaj7 Am7 G Em
I feel so alien / who's the one who's upside down?
C G F Bflat A
Take what's good, pass it around you're all so funny you should hear your voices/ see your choices
E7 little machines of Amin 7 distraction C Where's the G inter- F action?
C Who's G sitting right F there with you? Bflat is it just too hard to say / A Nanoo-nanoo?
Bsus 2 I feel so G ali – Em en... F G Am G Em
strange things you do for fun, strange thing s you do Nanoo, nanoo

2. riff based on am/G/F/Amaj7 (3x) Am/G/F G Em
Nanoo, Nanoo /Mork calling Orson, Come in Orson
consumers trash the oceans it's starting to grow
poison food and the bees are dying Desert sky god told you before /
we don't agree, so it's off to war Differences we could let go
B sus 2 G Em
Shazbot, you've got to dream / of an inner peace, of a new release Amaj7
Why not just meet yourself / saying “hey, what do I do? Nanoo, nanoo”?
D maj7 Am7 G Em C G F Bflat
I feel so alien / who's the one who's upside down? Cruelness, so alien / when we all could live in the beautiful A sun! Bsus2 G Em G Em B flat A
Bsus 2 G Em I feel so alien / I feel so alien / when you end, you've just begun
My egg has taken me / F G Am
G Em to this Earth mystery / all these strange things you do
strange things you do, Nanoo, Nanoo _ Dmaj 7 I'm calling Or- Em -son, F come in, G come in, Am come in Orson, come in come in come in....come in, come in, come in (you've got to dream) come in, come in, come in... FGAmAmaj7come in, come in come in... (x2)
E7 I feel so ali- Amaj7 en.

-Cecil Disharoon (Lue Lyron) August 13 2 to 4 am (with music) So that's how I cope, I guess.

(Song to be performed August 21st at Schroeder's by Integr8d Soul, who you can find on Facebook and as well as

I'm too young and Southern to have a great personal story like this, soooo...I got this from Batton Lash, a terrific cartoon horror comic artist in his own right that you should check out, who posted:

My Robin Williams memory: In April, 1979, I attended “An Evening With Andy Kaufman” at Carnegie Hall. At the beginning of the performance, Andy pointed to a little old lady sitting off to the side on stage. Andy said that she was his grandmother. Andy told us that when he was a little boy he promised her that if he ever played Carnegie Hall, she would have the best seat in the house. Andy beamed that he was able to keep that promise! Everyone went “awwww”, applauded, and settled in for the show, which immediately got underway. And it was some show! But all through Tony Clifton, wrestling, Elvis, manhandling an aged schoolteacher to the point of a heart attack and the cringe-worthy songs and dances of an inappropriate-for-an-Andy Kaufman-audience “up with people” family act, grandma sat quietly with a little smile on her face, watching the spectacle from the side of the stage in the “best seat in the house.”
At the end of the evening, when Andy was calling the cast members to take their bow, he turned to his grandmother, and asked her to do likewise. As grandma stood up, “she” removed a white-haired wig and some facial prosthetics, Andy announced that his grandma was played by Robin Williams! I was impressed that wild, manic, unfettered, scenery-chewing, improv comic Robin Williams could sit still all evening long and not upstage Andy Kaufman’s show. Nevertheless, the audience gasped and roared their approval . . . and in a way, Robin stole the show by really doing nothing. Good night, funny man!

Thanks, Batton.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rocket Raccoon in "Open Source" : a short story crossover with Homestuck

“Open Source” featuring Rocket Raccoon (Nilina created by Kay Smith)

Rocket Raccoon lands on the asteroid in a detachable pod. He gets out with a space helmet and looks around. He doesn’t want to be there; at least it’s better than the planet in orbit below, where he knows a cease-fire has just been broken by the side with the most to lose. He misses Groot. He doesn’t try to worry himself over the lack of patience or sheer malicious instigation that initiated the rocket fire into the disputed area. He suspects Nebula sold the weaponry to both sides. “Just another dollar,” he thinks, reservedly.

He spins around and sees five women in ghostly robes. He’s immediately suspicious; they feel weird, like a humming arises around seeing them, like they are not what they seem at all, but some camouflaged destructive force! But one of them tries to communicate. A voice seems to float to his thoughts, asking that they talk. He keeps his weapon at ready. “It’s your dime,” he says gruffly.

She pulls her hands slowly apart, with a nebulous light shimmering. A pocket appears, seemingly immaterial, a window to some receding inner space. Rocket remembers seeing something like this: “one of the inmates on the mental rehabilitation planet, Halfworld, tried to open something…give me a glimpse, when we were alone, of some otherly, beautiful world. But then he was sad because he could open the portal and couldn’t go through it. At least, that’s what I think. We called him Moses. I guess he was a wizard. Or a frustrated scientist who’d been changed by a discovery. Same diff? I guess I never thought much about it again because so much of what I remember was never real.”

He can see the recognition on the woman’s face.

“Hey, stop reading my thoughts,” the raccoon protests. “But I guess that’s the only way you can ‘talk’ with me. That space he opened…it’s the same phenomenon?” He recalls how the doctors debated: should Moses forget about the portal so he could go on with his life? Or was trying to access it, the hope needed, the reserve rebuilt and depleted again and again, his one thread of sanity?
Suddenly a winged girl with a petite frame and a pair of ram-like horns on her head soars by. Rocket notes she is also unaided by life support. A ghoulish trickle of blood drips precipitously from her mouth as she hovers above him; she ignores the five women in robes.

“She looks confused,” Rocket thinks. He decides not to judge a book by its cover; after all, until you really begin to know, how can you decide anything by appearance alone? “And I should know,” he chuckles.

A trio of armored soldiers suddenly teleport into their midst. Clad entirely in grey save for orange faceplates that glow, revealing no features, they take out their cannons, each about the size of their arms, and fire at the winged girl. She flaps her wings, which seem leathery and reptilian, as she evades the beams. One of them strikes one of the five women from before; she holds stock still. “Stasis beams?” Rocket observes. He cocks his own cannon, still undecided about his course of action. “They could be a peace force. They may be some kind of local police. They may be bounty hunters. But they do shoot a little carelessly,” he thinks, grimacing. The woman with the open source of light between her hands remains where she stands, her thoughts indiscernible, her expression…her expression makes Rocket feel queer. “That’s alien life forms for you,” he thinks. His seasoned bounty hunter instincts tell him not to get mixed up in what he doesn’t understand; he isn’t sure of anyone’s purpose or innocence.

The winged girl twists acrobatically out of the range of the next shots. He notices she is wearing something akin to a circus performer’s bodice. “She’s kinda creepy looking,” Rocket thinks. He debates on whether to zap her himself and put an end to the cannon fire. The fact that the blasts don’t seem overtly concussive…that they don’t seem lethal or destructive…makes him consider again that these may not be malicious marauders. Besides…none of this is what drew him here.

“It’s that crazy dream I’ve been having,” he thinks. “I was drawn to the asteroid almost by pure instinct. Mystical searches aren’t really my bag, but maybe it was something those robed chicks did that got into my head. Ahh, damnit! I don’t know what to shoot!”
The armored beings continue to ignore everyone else while chasing the winged girl across the low-gravity surface. Rocket runs over to the woman in stasis. Her phosphorescent bluish-green robe drifts in reaction to his approach; there is virtually no atmosphere, not much gravity to keep anyone nailed where they are standing. Another shot lands close to her and paralyzes another of the women. “Can’t you see where you’re shooting?” Rocket hisses, taking a shot back in reaction. His beam hits a soldier so hard he flips in the air. “Now I’ve done it, I’ll bet,” he thinks; he prepares his jet pack for evasive action, and flies upwards to be clear of the robed women.

One of the armored soldiers fires back, narrowly missing Rocket Raccoon. Rocket trains his gun on the soldier while the third one gives chase to the winged girl, and the flipping soldier rights himself shakily.

“Who the hell are you guys, anyway?” he demands.

“Lucian Weathers, Craft 9 Squadron,” the soldier says, pointing his cannon back. “Stand down or I’ll be forced to immobilize you!”

“Who is the girl? And why don’t you watch where you shoot?”

“If you’re referring to that winged thing, that’s Nilina. We were hired to retrieve her after she murdered an entire circus on a Capricorn world. This is all created world business and none of yours…whoever you are!”

“Rocket Raccoon,” he replies, “Guardian of the Galaxy.”

“What a pretentious load of baloney,” says the soldier. Rocket thinks he’s hearing a trans-galactic translation, accounting quite well for the colloquial nature of the reply. “What’s your evidence?” he retorts.

“Why don’t you ask her yourself?” replies Weathers. “If you’re not a bounty hunter yourself, you’re probably going to be a victim. What are you doing here?”

“You don’t see those women over there?”

“I don’t have time for mind games, sir.” Lucian Weathers of Craft 9 Squadron puts his hand to his head to relay a message: “teleport on my signal to this triangulation and let’s take her down!” He then vanishes.

Rocket turns back to the robed women, who remain as they were. The one with the dimensional aperture…or whatever it might be…seems to beckon Rocket to stare inside. He watches her curly hair drift gently, and sees that wherever the one door of light in her hand leads, yet another opens further inside. He tries to make out the figures he sees poised between the inner doorways. He responds to his curiosity by making the aperture larger. A woman in flames, with a serpent draped around her hand, holds up a white, shimmering disc; a long-haired man with wings raises his arms before a blue ocean at night; a man with a cocked, short-brimmed straw hat, in a white suit, laughs jovially, his eyes piercing and dancing, his skin like midnight.

Rocket senses a need for sacrifices (what kind?)…communication…a call to service to some mysterious being…wonder…an ominous sense of the smallness of his place in the material world. In the light, he reflects on the little ways he’s been damaged, his losses…his triumphs. And for all of his aimless strivings in this universe, he marvels at how some undiscovered part of himself seems to lie in those doorways. Again, beyond the furthest doorway are more doors…a sense of increasing vibrational dimension. He asks himself if he is the type of individual who can abandon all he has known with no hope possibly of returning, or if this is a source of blessings and powers?

“Look, kid,” he says, “and I hope I’m not making a big mistake here…I honestly can’t say if this is a trap or a treasure, and my curiosity is about to get the best of me either way. You see that world down there-- Zaag Trips? If you want to offer someone a wormhole vacation, maybe you should try it down there. Somebody’s got to be dying to get out of that madness.”

The woman looks longingly towards the world of Zaag Trips below. He feels a sort of sadness…then a detached reserve, which he could mistake for his own, seems to well up in its place.

“They can’t see ya, huh?” he says haltingly. He relaxes his gun at his side, realizing he’s been gesturing with it all along. “Hey, for all I know, I should blast you myself before you go alien-abducting people…but I wonder if you’re not just trying to share? And if you are bad seed…I found out a long time ago I can’t clean up the whole galaxy. When it’s black and white enough for me to do any good for sure, that’s when I’ll make my move…like with that Thanos ass. And the fact that I care one way or the other makes me a terrible mercenary but hey, I don’t mind looking at myself in the mirror, and you can’t buy that.”
She and her companions all raise their arms simultaneously, then, with eyes softly aglow, inhumanly, yet compassionately, she seems to send a pink candle light image to his thoughts before all five blink away. Only the vast distance of the stars and their ancient luminescence remains above the lonely asteroid.

Rocket Raccoon thinks about the candle as he mounts his small pod to return to the ship with Groot, Zamora, Drax and Quill…”excuse me, STAR Lord,” he thinks sarcastically. But the pink candle makes him feel softer, kinder, in a way he would be a bit abashed to express. “I never knew what became of ol’ Moses,” he thinks as the engines activate and the anti-grav equation severs his anchor with the asteroid surface. The engines suddenly boost him out into space, as he thinks about why Moses couldn’t enter the aperture he’d seemed to generate himself, or if that was only a vision, and even so, why no one on the asylum planet had ever seemed to decipher what Moses was opening. Perhaps some of them were as unable to see Moses as the soldiers had been unable to detect the robed women.
He wonders about the armored beings trying to capture the winged girl—“Nilina, that was the name!”---and if she was guilty of murdering a whole circus and why would she and why would anyone think about that, and where the hell was Capricorn, some pocket world? It seemed to Rocket a lot of convergences between realities proliferated in this sector of space. Yet, for countless parsecs…it’s just emptiness, with not a sign of life. Not in the material sense, anyway.

As Rocket Raccoon’s ship departs the nameless asteroid, the winged Nilina watches…and cautiously follows. She likes something about the furry little being and his sense of inner conflict. Perhaps she’ll find out more, if she’s shaken her teleporting pursuers. It will do for a purpose, at least, until she gets bored.

Come See Integr8d Soul at Schroeder's Deli in downtown Rome Aug. 21st!!! Here's the pre-poster sketch I'm considering...and it is pre-poster-ous. OK, I'm almost done with that joke....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Over (or are we just beginning)

"Over," along with our "Rocket Man," has been getting airplay on 95.7 fm The Ridge out of Northwest Georgia/ Northeast Alabama. (2016 update: 99.1 FM Downtown Radio in Tucson is the latest now to give "Over" a spin!)

It's funny to think of that sober, reverent folk song being the one way most people in the region know of our music, when there's so many upbeat or darkly rocking songs in our catalog, but it does carry our trademark lyrics. Thankfully the somewhat-sad atmosphere of the tune is relieved by its hopeful last verse. It's usually a break, when played live, between our more boisterously-delivered numbers. I DO wonder how it got played twice over the other two numbers submitted for the BAttle of the Bands page, but as an artist it sometimes feels a bit egocentric to ask specifically about opinions of your individual work. (Maybe I'm afraid they didn't like the other two?)

it's over too soon
is it true I'll spend no days with you?
I believed we were over the moon
You're not here, so was that ever true?
and it's over...over

Can we live beneath the same sky?
Will we ever know the reason why?
All that we must do, before we die
over all the reasons we might try
and it's over...over

Clouds release the tears of future fun
dry upon the things flowers have done
they'll be seen on days
of cheerful sun
with some answer, play, for there's still one
when it's over
over here
here it's over

words and music by Lue Lyron Copyright 2013 Integr8d Soul Productions

How we ended up with...a break up song? a break out song is a story that maybe deserves its own novel (which I've been preparing for now for quite a while!). But the back story doesn't matter overly much, since you're bound to bring your own story to it. Is it a funeral? What kind of goodbye is it? It's certainly a goodbye to something, someone, but it's not without hope. And I wrote one of our most cheerful songs, "Angela Dawn," just minutes after I played "Over" for the first request from the Marc Kane.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Keep On Keepin' On with Integr8d Soul / Rocket Ba-Doom

So! Tickets for the Final 4 Battle at the DeSoto Theatre in Rome are on sale now. They are $12. That money goes to Cancer Navigators of Rome and also counts as votes, which Integr8d Soul could really use right now! (Yes, we entered a BAttle of the BAnds our first summer here! Or: yes, we have a band, with a cd called Glad To Be Live!)

This way, for your donation, you get a show ticket, too. Battle of the Bands semi finals ends at midnight Friday, so if you get paid and you want to help cancer patients with their necessities AND you want to shock Rome with our surprise appearance after being gone all these years, hit this site, where you can also here three of our very cool songs:
What a summer. We've made seven public appearances since May 3rd, been on the radio for interviews twice, put our novel Anywhere With You in three stores (plus Amazon, and this week, on Smash Words), our t-shirts in two more, launched Marc Kane Fashion Bags again with eight lovely crocheted purses, and I'm already plotting our next two appearances this week before the carriage turns into a pumpkin at midnight.

Will we make the Final Four this Cinderella season? Honestly, without surprising help, I'd be shocked. People have been loving the music, but the two of us have put our humble earnings from the arts right back into stocks of book copies and prints, and most everyone we know's just trying to get by. We're still waiting to be paid the rest for the comic book we were hired to put together, which was another thing that has packed this summer to the gills! Throw in some bike rides, a pool party, two skating rink trips with friends and job searches and it's been SO concentrated with moments, I'm lucky to have gotten through a book without pictures (The Old Man and The Sea was great)!
There's been some reflection and what you might call spiritual or consciousness centering, too, and time with our family. I've also thought a lot about what I want to write in the future by re-assessing the rich past evoked in our stay in California, where ideas grew like creeper vines on a shady stone wall.

I truly believe in the kindness of Cancer Navigators: our friend Daphne was helped with doctor appointments, wigs, make-up, and medicine, and that's just some of what Rome's Can Nav does.

When I first started writing songs on guitar and decided that was no joke what I wanted from my life, I decided I really wanted my talents to produce melodies and lyrics that would stand the test of time, but also, that my career be as devoted as possible to helping others. I was happy to send three of my jewels in a still-growing catalog to 95.7 The Ridge and find them placed one day on their site...much less played and performed on the radio for thousands of people!

I honestly think, in terms of great writing and singing, they're in a league of their own, which you can judge yourself. I also pour my heart and soul into dynamic performances that reach out into the crowd and put the listener right on stage and up in the rafters (thus far, no injuries).
Maybe we don't have the established rep and can't afford beers in all the right places and only have two members, but we've become one of the local buzz bands of the summer---and you can say you helped the under dog! Let's shake it up. Be chill, Cease ill — with Angela Zora Ba-Doom Disharoon.