Thursday, June 21, 2012

The problem with music these days...

is NOT the artist I'm about to expose you to.

The problem, or a big part of it at least, in my opinion, is that all these neat little avenues for "exposing" our music have exposed us all to too much fucking shit. Shit. Poop. Shit. Artists of the world who are pouring their hearts out, get pissed. Lose your mind. Become delusional, or enhance existing delusions (if you're aware of them) if you have to! Write a song to save the universe. Why be realistic?? Write in the direction you normally shy away from, ....Fuck that numbers shit, fuck the radio. WE choose what WE like these days, and it's all at our fingertips......why "make it"? If you're art is that good, it'll make you. And we'll find you.....Why not? Just fly off the handle; lose your mind; burn bridges; flow; create with reckless abandon.............and remember, like Bjork once said, "If you don't feel as if you would die without it, you're faking it."

Aaand on that note, let's meet Steve Lutke.

Steve Lutke, "Banjo Artist", is an unsigned artist out of the Chicago area(?). He plays the banjo. http://stevelutke.com/index.htm

He's good at it.

Steve knows how to think big. Real fucking big. And he may be a bit delusional...either way, this is how you fucking do a write up on the back cover of a local-area-released CD!

"If you're a fan of Bela Fleck and Earl Scruggs, then you are going to love Steve Lutke. And if you're a fan of great music, then you're going to love hearing virtuosity and soulfulness all in one musician. Steve is simply one of the greatest musicians of our time (the Michael Jordan of the banjo)and 'Appalachian Uprising' is one of the very best banjo albums ever recorded.

Steve can seemingly do anything -from rip roaring banjo to sensitive sounds and tones only heard on his banjo.

This album contains ALL ORIGINAL music ranging from hardcore bluegrass (containing dangerously high levels of octane considered 'highly illegal' in most jurisdictions) to delicate, sophisticated classical compositions performed accurately and tastefully."

And there's still another paragraph of self-praise to go!! But I'll spare you....now, I wonder....just who may have written all that flattering stuff??? Hmmmm? Anyway, some of my favorite cuts from that write-up are:

"Steve is simply one of the greatest musicians of our time."
and:
"the Michael Jordan of the banjo"
and:
"Steve can seemingly do anything."
and: "...and tones only heard on his banjo"
and:
"ranging from hardcore bluegrass (containing dangerously high levels of octane considered 'highly illegal' in most jurisdictions)"

THAT'S how you get delusional people!!! Shit!! That's how you cut loose.....



~ZFJ

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Restroom stories, Volume 1

Hi everybody!

Well, I've been driving around towns and cities destroying bugs as a day job when I'm not booking bands, recording music and/or hanging with people I generally like. Naturally, due to my consistent driving, I have to visit public restrooms on occasion to relieve myself. And I've been flabbergasted by the type of behavior that sometimes happens when people inadvertently interrupt us in our times of restroom solitude.

People can get crazy about public restrooms, as I've experienced too many times firsthand. I've started using the "knock-first-then-slowly-try-the-door-handle-then- still-look-into-the-bathroom-before-barging-in" technique recently due to many "situations" I've recently been caught in. Below are a few snapshots of the aforementioned "situations".

At a bar. I go to the MENS restroom. The door is slightly ajar and the light is on. It's obvious to me that the room is vacant and ready to be used.

Other than the GIRL who was in there wiping her ass after a nice, awful-smelling shit has been taken!

Traumatized? (her more than me, I'm sure) Hilarious?? (Yep. Just from the look of utter astonishment reflecting panicked thoughts of "oh-shit-I-Just-got-busted-wiping-my-shit filled-ass-while-in-a-public-bathroom-in-which-I-shoulda-double-checked-the-fucking-lock-especially-considering-that-I'm-in-the-MENS-bathroom AND, the shit-I-dropped-smells-really-fucking-bad too!!). After this, to me, that girl became "The Girl Who Just Took a Shit", rather than anything slightly desirable...

At Dunkin Donuts in Amherst. I had a serious emergency brewing, and I wasn't close to home. I stop at one of my favorite "watering holes" (heh heh), first I knock on the door. I hear nothing. I try the handle and it's not locked, so I open the door slowly. I look in and there's a flustered contractor-type dude in there who gets all huffy with me barking "I'm almost finished!!" I sheepishly backed away muttering "maybe ya shoulda locked the door..." Then I hear him say "jeez, I locked the fucking door..." What?? No you didn't!!! If you had, it would have been LOCKED. What, do you think I picked the lock or something?? Do you feel this was a personal attack on your bathroom solitude?? Damn man...be accountable for your own actions. Lock. The. Fucking. Door.

At the Shell/Dunkin Donuts in Palmer. I'm using the restroom and treating it real bad. I'm finishing up and I hear someone outside try the door handle. I didn't give my standard "Be right out!" cry as I foolishly assume that the person on the outside would realize that, since door is locked, it means someone inside the restroom has locked it. The dude starts banging on the door. Really?? Where's the fire man??? Then I gave the "Be right out!!" cry as I rushed to get outta there fearing he would kick the door in or something....c'mon people. A man needs some fucking privacy when he's taking a shit!

At Bruegers Bagels in Noho, this very morning. I head downstairs to the restroom and knock on the door. I hear nothing. I slowly try the handle and it's not locked. OK, I know it's safe to go in because I heard nothing in response to my knocking and the door is not locked. I foolishly proceed into the restroom after my pre-barging-in tests have been completed, only to discover that there's a man in there. He's not too happy with me as he's trying to rush out, looking all pissed-off because someone is coming in while he's still in it. Wow. What else could I have done??? I apologized, muttered under my breath "that's why you lock the fucking door...", and waited. He gave me a dirty look as he exited the restroom.

The point of all this? Well, I think that in our society, we all need to keep our public restroom etiquette a bit more on the front-burner. Yes? So, here's some basic guidelines:
WHEN USING THE RESTROOM:
1) Lock the fucking door.
2) If someone doesn't get why the door is locked and begins banging on the obviously-locked-for-a-reason-door, give a polite yet assertive "be right out" type greeting.
3) Conduct your business in a timely fashion.
4) Be neat.
5) Get out and go on with your life.

WHEN APPROACHING A POSSIBLY OCCUPIED RESTROOM:
1) Knock on the fucking door.
2) Slowly try the handle.
3) If the door is unlocked, don't assume it's vacant, maybe try a "hello?" or other acceptable pre-greeting call-out while cautiously proceeding.
4) If the door is locked, there's no real need to bang on it. It means someone is in there, probably taking a nice shit. Just wait your turn.


Hopefully this information will help some of you avoid unpleasant, and possibly dangerous, situations when you are faced with the need to use public restrooms. Bye!!



~ZFJ

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