RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, February 28

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #4: "Low Down" by Hank Williams III


Yeah, I get "Low Down". That's where I'm at. I'm sick of the holding pattern, sick of finding brief joys in the day through warbly headphone sessions sitting by my pigs, sick of the stagnancy. I will be glad when I am healed and back amongst the world and letting visual things feed my soul again. I'm stuck in a deep holding pattern, have watched more TV in the past month than I probably have in 10 years, and have not done certain normal things. The goddamned battery on my truck is dead because a light got left on in it because I'm not the one doing the things I need to be doing. It is a frustrating and impotent position I am stuck in, and I do not like it. I am alpha, I am omega, I am not whatever all the fuck all those other letters in whatever fake ancient alien alphabet that's from. I am the beginning and the end and all this dicking around in the middle is really getting on my nerves.
STEAL "Low Down"
NEXT:
An old-timey song that sounds like Emmett Otter might sang it!

S14: Best College Basketball Teams in Virginia

It doesn't look like I'm even going to get to use those tickets to the CAA tournament, which is a bummer, as I've been looking forward to that. The tourney brackets broke just right so conceivably it could be George Mason, Old Dominion, VCU, and James Madison for an all-Virginia semifinals Sunday, which would be interesting to see live. I mean, it's not like we're talking ACC tournament in 1982 or anything, but still knowing that if the CAA is lucky, it might get a second at-large berth to the NCAA tournament (which usually does not happen), the really only guaranteed way into the Big tournament is to win this one. Oh well. If you want to buy my tickets, hit me up. Second tier, right at center court, last year we were beside the ESPN camera pretty much, like I could throw ice on the camera dude without trying. ESPN camera dudes are assholes by the way.
So here is the updated list. Division III wrapped up their conference tournaments. The CIAA tournament goes on this week for Division II. And ACC still has some conference play, but most of the other Division I groups are down to their conference tournaments as the only thing left. College basketball is winding the fuck down.
#1: RANDOLPH-MACON YELLOW JACKETS (24-4, #2 last week) - Macon ended up in the ODAC finals yesterday, not against their main rival in Virginia Wesleyan (last week's #1) but Randolph College, which is the artist formerly known as Randolph-Macon Women's College, but I guess has dudes now. Macon won the championship, and got the ODAC's automatic berth into the 61-team NCAA Division III tournament field. That nonsense will be announced this afternoon. I would doubt that Macon will be one of the three teams getting a bye into the second round though.
#2: VIRGINIA WESLEYAN BLUE MARLINS (23-4, #1 last week) - Division III only has 19 at-large berths, but Virginia Wesleyan, even though they were upset Saturday in the ODAC semifinals by Randolph, should still get an at-large berth into the tournament. Division III is so much more interesting, because the teams don't travel as far geographically. Every team in the ODAC, except one, is based in Virginia, so the majority of their schedule is here in-state, with forays into neighboring states that are closest. So when you get to the NCAA tournament, with 41 conference champions, possibly right away, but definitely after the first round, you are venturing into uncharted territories. How do you know how fucking good DIII teams from like Indiana or Illinois are? No clue. Still though, Wesleyan considers itself a national championship contender again.
#3: GEORGE MASON PATRIOTS (25-5, #4 last week) - Mason has been on an unending roll, with the longest current winning streak in Division I basketball. Some of the players have stopped cutting their hair or shaving in honor of this winning streak, which is fucking awesome, because a couple of them are starting to look like the youngest crackheads on earth. I pull for VCU, so it pains me to say that I do not think George Mason can really be slowed down this coming week in the CAA tournament. They seem dialed the fuck in, which might bite them in the ass if they end up getting a high #8 seed in the NCAA tournament, which would put them against a #1 seed the first weekend potentially. Kind of better to sneak in as a #12 or #13 and claw your way into the second weekend of the Sweet Sixteen.
#4: EASTERN MENNONITE ROYALS (22-5, #3 last week) - My poor Mennonite girls of Harrisonburg at the demolition derby will be sad, as Mennonite dropped in teh quarterfinals of the ODAC tourney. Some folks say that any team with 5 losses or less stands a shot at an at-large berth into the Division III tournament (I actually was looking at fucking nerd ass Division III basketball sites yesterday to see how people thought the thing would break down... there's actually bracket predictions for even that... we are an O.C.D. ass world with the interwebz), but it seems highly doubtful that one conference would get three teams into the thing, even if the ODAC might be the best D3 conference. And Virginia Wesleyan will get the bid before Eastern Mennonite.
#5: FERRUM PANTHERS (23-5, #5 last week) - Ferrum lost their conference championship game to North Carolina Wesleyan, which cost them an automatic entry into the D3 tournament. It is highly doubtful, even with only 5 losses, a second USA South team will get into the tourney, but hey... there's hope I guess.
#6: OLD DOMINION MONARCHS (24-6, #6 last week) - Best bet for ODU, and for the CAA probably, is for Old Dominion to win the CAA tourney this coming weekend, get the automatic berth, and then George Mason get an at-large berth. I hate the Monarchs because the ODU fans who come to the games are like ultra-retarded. I mean, it's fucking Old Dominion! At least VCU kids know they go to a shitty artsy school and make stupid banners.
#7: RICHMOND SPIDERS (22-7, #7 last week) - Richmond is kind of lost to me because they play in the Atlantic 10 Conference. They've got two more conference games this week before the A-10 tournament in Atlantic City next week.
#8: SOUTHERN VIRGINIA KNIGHTS (21-8, #10 last week) - USCAA (whatever that is) Division I tournament takes place this week in somewhere in Bumfuck, Pennsylvania. Southern Virginia is the #2 seeded team in an 8-team field, and plays Marygrove on Wednesday.
#9: HAMPTON PIRATES (20-8, #8 last week) - The Pirates have one more Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season game before the MEAC tournament next week. They'll be anywhere from a #2 to #4 seed, and really, Bethune-Cookman looks to be the top team to win their automatic berth, but there are three or four other teams - Hampton included - that could knock them off and turn it into a battle royal for the NCAA tournament berth.
#10: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (19-8, #12 last week) - Seems like Tech might've actually helped itself for once by beating #1 Duke in Blacksburg this past weekend, but you never know. If they do end up making the NCAA tournament, it seems like one of those two play-in games for at-large teams was custom-made for Virginia Tech, who always was the first team left out in previous years.
#11: JAMES MADISON DUKES (21-10, #11 last week) - The Dukes are playing good, and have a dude named Humpty. They wear purple. All of these are good things.
#12: VCU RAMS (21-10, #9 last week) - Rams are falling apart. Last year, you could tell they weren't as good with just Larry Sanders (now with the Milwaukee Bucks) because nobody could take over the game. This year, even with a good group of talent, there's still no one who can take over the game. And they've been dropping games to everybody at home, so playing the CAA tourney in the Richmond Coliseum is not going to be such a home-court advantage most likely. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see them gone before Sundays semifinals.
#13: CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT CAPTAINS (18-9, #13 last week) - Once Christopher Newport lost to Ferrum last Friday in the USA South Conference tournament, their season was over.
#14: VIRGINIA UNION PANTHERS (15-8, unranked last week) - Union's been on a run to end the season, and goes into the CIAA tournament this week as the #2 seed from the North division, which gives them a bye into a Thursday afternoon game against whoever wins the late game on Wednesday between St. Paul's and Livingstone. Historically Black College & University Small-Time Tournament Action in Central North Carolina Fever! Catch It! Seriously though, I bet that'd be a good ass time. You know there's old dudes rocking some serious ass colorful suits up in that joint.

Gone from the list from last week: Liberty Flames.

Ponytail Challenge - Pt. 2 of 36

So this week stupid Jeff Gordon won whatever race they had. I did not include it in my life at all, so I don't know what happen, but I would imagine it was boring, but they had a lot of commercials pretending it was very macho to be bored in such a way. I do know when I was watching five minutes of The Simpsons at night, they had a stupid commercial about some dude and his wife on the couch and him talking like Nascar was somehow cool, and it was going to be in Las Vegas, which is also cool. It was at that point (amongst many in my life) that I realized just how fucking out of step I am with the rest of my fellow American humans.
Jeff Gordon originally was not liked. Regular dudes thought him a pussy, and rooted for Dale Earnhardt or Terry Labonte or other regular dudes like that - guys who still wore mustaches. But somewhere in the process of Nascar getting younger and every driver talking in a whine and looking like he runs a landscaping company, regular dudes starting liking Jeff Gordon, I guess because he raced at the same time real dudes used to. I don't get it. I hate Jeff Gordon. Hate him. Even when I don't care about Nascar, and I looked up the race to try and at least do this stupid ponytail challenge thing for more than one week, I saw Jeff Gordon won and I was like, "Man, that sucks. Fuck Jeff Gordon."
That being said, in my goofy system, he can buy his way out of elimination at some point later this season. Being not every driver who raced last week actually was gonna be a full-time racer this season, there were a handful of drivers who did not even attempt to qualify this week who raced last week. Of those drivers, Robert Richardson Jr. was the dude who had the lowest amount of points from last week, so he gets nipped off the back end of the remaining possible champions. The beginning of the Nascar season is boring as fuck. So is the end. I do not even know who Robert Richardson Jr. is, or who his father was.
42nd: Robert Richardson Jr. (did not qualify for the Subway Fresh Fit 500)
43rd: J.J. Yeley (finished last in the Daytona 500)

f l g a i

we’re cut from the same cloth,
but he is of a higher
thread count than I’ll ever know

Sunday, February 27

LEARNED ELDERS: Jimmy Valiant

I was gonna write some new stuff about Jimmy Valiant, the professional wrestler, and his influence on me, but then I wrote a piece years ago for the homeboy Reverend Axl Future's Clawhold magazine about Valiant, and that sums it up as good as anything I'd ramble out my brain today, so I'll just throw that back up here for the Boogie Woogie Man write-up. Really, me and Rev. Axl Future kinda reiterate the Street People Philosophy as developed by one Handsome Jimmy Valiant. I used to keep up tight with this dude, we sent mail back and forth between post office boxes, even working on a few writing projects together that nobody ever saw but us I think. And I haven't heard from that dude in years - I would imagine his kid is like 8 or 9 now maybe, but he's out there. And if we came together or in wide traveling circles crossed paths, it'd be good times. That's how Street People are - we wander away and meander together and find new Street People all the time. It's very much like the Cockroach People that Oscar Zeta Acosta wrote about (get that book if you don't have it... most important work of the Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo movement wasn't even written by HST, it was written by his crazed lawyer). We are all in this together.
When I was living in Hamlet's Trailer Park in southside Virginia, I went to a show with Boogie Woogie and talked about going to wrestling school. At the time I was working like crazy and just redeveloping my relationship with my wife, who was obviously not my wife at that point. I was in my mid-20s, and made the executive decision that spending long weekends on the road all the time to wrestle in front of a couple hundred people, if I was lucky and if I could cut it in the training, was not worth not soaking up the love of this woman. It's hard to imagine what kind of person I'd look like at this point if I had sunk myself into the strange sub-culture of shallow south (as opposed to deep south) independent professional wrestling. I would imagine the blend of character and real person would be pretty heavily criss-crossed, which is fine. No one should know your true reality; everything is putting on a character, in order to entertain yourself. And the great thing about that is the characters you portray end up contaminating your true self at the same time, so you end up warping who you are in the process of acting slightly warped. It's great. There's a lot of things I have written over the years that people wonder if it's real or not, or assume it's real, or assume I'm crazy. I can tell you with a straight face that every word I have ever written is completely true, even the stuff I made up.
So here is my thing about Jimmy Valiant and his war with the nefarious and middle managerial Paul Jones...
“I guess a lotta people think I’m crazy, Boogie…but this chain means I’m tied up…and once I take this chain off, it means freedom…and you know what freedom means? It means get down, get nasty, and boogie. I’m here for the jam, baby…I’m here for the jam, Boogie.” – The Junkyard Dog in a promo with “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant
America’s a great place because there’s all kinds of weird shit around to occupy time, whether it be drugs or porn or weird chicks with tattoos on their lower back highlighting the fat ass they’re barely covering up with a pair of blue jeans. But the seventh grade social studies lesson that anybody can become anything in America is bullshit. Some of us are born poor and the most we can hope for is to knuckle and claw and scrape our ass up to middle class at best. And it’s not so much that there are buffers against certain types of people succeeding; it’s just that some of us don’t fit in with that successful white collar crowd. I couldn’t in good conscious cut my hair. I can’t make the bad homemade tattoos on my fingers disappear. That’s me now; there’s no turning back.
Similarly, in the world of the squared circle, there are some guys who just aren’t designed for Wrestlemania main event status. Some people you just can’t polish off enough to sell to all the mainstream squares who have the loose purse strings that you’re average sleazy wrestling promoter is looking for. These are the guys the mid-carders that get bloody and battle for the TV title and make the social misfit kids excited and do their job, but they lack that clean and sterile look the main event heel or babyface has.
My favorite wrestlers have always been mid-carders. Shit, anything in my life – music, movies, whatever, I automatically hate it when it gets successful. Success equals sell-out in my book, because I’m all screwed up in the head from growing up a poor white kid sucking down King Vitamin mom got with her WIC check. I’m full of resentment and hatred for anything even suggesting success. When I was young, I didn’t care about Ric Flair versus Harley Race or Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood. What got me going was that evil Jap the Great Kabuki with his bald-headed sweaty bastard manager Gary Hart and their war with the motherfuckin’ King of My World – Jimmy Valiant. Whereas, the Steamboats and Youngbloods and Wahoo McDaniels looked like wrestlers fighting for good, Jimmy Valiant looked like the type of guy I’d see hanging with my folks on the weekends. He represented us, the insane Southern white underclass. He truly was down for the “street people” he always rambled about in his promos. Valiant looked like the type of guy that would be stabbing one of my dad’s friends for bending the corners of the threes to get them to run together at the poker table. The bad tattoos, the abundance of facial hair, the satin jackets with his name embroidered above the left breast…it all adds up to white underclass.
There has never been a feud in wrestling history that I followed like such a mark as the multi-year Jimmy Valiant/Paul Jones feud. Valiant, in his street clothes with KISS MY emblazoned on the ass end of his trunks, and his wild hand clapping and street slang and wild partners like Rufus R. Jones and Bugsy McGraw and Superstar Graham in a tie-dye shirt, he represented the white underclass that just wanted to be themselves - to get down and boogie, to spend half their paycheck on a Friday night at a shitty bar shooting pool and sucking back Old Milwaukees. On the other hand, Paul Jones, self-titled as “Number One,” as a manager, represented management – the wannabe upper level white losers who wore the goofy dress-up clothes and did whatever was necessary to become a financial success. And the soulless bad guys lined up to serve Paul Jones managerial needs against the subversive nature of the Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant. But all the One Man Gangs and Barbarians and Baron Von Raschke’s didn’t matter to Valiant. They were natural enemies.
You gotta understand, this Valiant/Jones feud played for years in Crockett country, main eventing all the small-town shows and mid-carding the major monthly house shows. And the reason Valiant was a main event draw in the small towns that got one wrestling card a year was because he was the wrestler under contract to Crockett that spoke strongest to the rural types. My favorite wrestling card I’ve been to live to this day is seeing NWA in Buckingham, Virginia, at the Buckingham County High School on the middle of the football field. The main event that night was Jimmy Valiant vs. Shaska Whatley. And therein lies the beauty of the Jones/Valiant feud.
Like I said, Paul Jones represented management, and Jimmy Valiant represented getting drunk and having three ol’ ladies. The two didn’t mix. But Paul Jones would convince Valiant’s best buddies, first Pistol Pez Whatley, and later “The Ragin’ Bull” Manny Fernandez, that going the way of management was the way of success. Pez became Shaska, with a shitty militant African attitude as opposed to just being a street person and getting down regardless of what their race was. Jones changed Whatley. And the Manny Fernandez turn, that was absolutely sick and out of nowhere. Valiant disappeared, as it was the ultimate betrayal. It takes a trashy looking woman with the most gigantic natural breasts, aptly title Big Mama, searching for Valiant, to find him in front of a liquor store moaning the blues about losing his best friend. Who the fuck heard of that? A wrestler so distraught over losing his tag team partner he’s playing a damned harmonica in front of a boondocks liquor store? Absolutely fuckin’ beautiful.
But the culmination of the feud was the Great American Bash. It started slow, with Valiant and his old best buddy and newest enemy Shaska Pez Whatley battling in coal miner’s glove matches and the such. Eventually, it came down to hair vs. hair, with Valiant putting the long locks and long beard on the line. Of course Whatley lost.
But it got worse. By the end of the summer, Paul Jones was bald and Jimmy Valiant had no beard left either. It was a true professional wrestling war, where both sides took losses and bladed nightly and did what was necessary to pack the working class stiffs in the seats.
And that’s my problem. There’s nobody doing that for me today. All the guys trying to represent the white underclass culture seem like MTV-style cartoonish portrayals of trailer trash. How many wrestlers take the time to grow a long-ass beard nowadays, much less have shitty eagle tattoos? The world ain’t what it used to be; the Paul Joneses have won.
It makes me happy though, that a couple of hours down the road, at a cinderblock compound on the side of a mountain in Shawsville, Virginia, “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant runs Boogie’s Wrestling Camp, where he trains the new breed of wrestling fan how to take a bump and be insane. Valiant’s a lot older now, and he moves slower, but he is still apt to bust out a kiss on the lips for the big black dude in the front row, and most likely he’ll put a clawhold on the bad guy’s dick. And in big crude letters across his chest is “COME TO PAPA”. Writers and booking committees and corporate sponsored pay-per-views, none of that has room for a crazy hillbilly with a “COME TO PAPA” tattoo. And that’s why the fuck I could give a shit less about wrestling anymore.

So that's an older style than what I rock now with words, but still, the point holds true. And if you're out there my spiritual brother RAF, much love bro. Hope all is good.

MNZ: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2011


Look, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is stupid. Not-porn porn magazines of the Maxim genre are stupid, and those are basically just extensions of the swimsuit issue principle. The entire thing is stupid - let's have naked women but not really naked and say crazy things but not really crazy. It is complete half-stepping.
Besides this, the notion of stupid bikinis, all of which cost over $300 on the low end of things, is crazy too. Would someone really spend that much money for that little of something? And the idea of what is beautiful in these things - scrawny women with bones that would jab you were you engaged in actual intercourse... if their frail bodies could even tolerate actual sex - is not even in alignment with actual beauty. There are no buxom breasts - a sign of being engorged with milk, thus actively maternal. There are no wide hips - better geared for procreation. The beauty standard set in this magazine is pure perversion.
But the whole thing is just stupid. The magazine smells like cologne samples, and is all full-page spreads of flat-chested women with skull faces decorated with nicely styled Barbie hair. I guess you can tell them to not send you one to count against your subscription, but that involves telling them, which I obviously didn't do. I guess for most people, the objection would be on some sort of Christian level, which only reinforces the fact that this is just watered down pseudo-porn to a lot of people.
If you want porn, go look at porn. The world needs more healthy porn. I think what bothers me even more, being a person who pokes words out, is the written content associated with the whole Maxim genre that sprung forth from the swimsuit issue foundation. It's stupid, barely thought out, and considered amusing or entertaining, for no real reason other than if somebody bothered to write it, print it, and send it to you, and you bothered to read it, you might as well pretend it was entertaining as you get to more pseudo-porn pictures. The internet is now full of websites like this, that offer up Top 10 Hottest Presidential Interns! lists or Top 10 Pictures of Women Riding Mopeds! And the lists are always one per page, with a non-stimulating picture, and a one or two-line not funny blurb. As a writer, this is my best hope for getting paid for online writing in 2011, usually struggling to force out one of these things, and you get $10, maybe $20. Seriously. I mean, you get to a point if you are in with the same group for a while where you can make upwards of $50 a piece, and get bonuses for page hits and shit. But still, what the fuck man? What are we doing? I refuse to believe that there are that many retarded people who really believe these things are funny or those women are so attractive that they have to stare at them all day long. But it gets to be one of those chicken-or-the-egg things, because with that being the cultural standard, people grow up retarded, which just perpetuates that system. So dudes who are 40-something salespeople always buy up the swimsuit issue because it's the swimsuit issue, making it the highest selling magazine of the year.
I don't know man. I just don't know. I don't understand why you would purposely pay over $300 to be almost naked, when you could just as easily go ahead and be naked. And I don't know why an almost naked collection of women on glossy paper soaking with the soapy chemical smell of cologne is better than an actual naked woman on your couch. I know I write a lot of babble words, no doubt about that. Yet somehow I feel like I'm far less lost than most. I am very glad for that.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #5: "32 leaves dipped in blackness making clouds forming altered carbon" by Shabazz Palaces


A dude from the Digable Planets disappeared, moved to Seattle, read a lot of used books, percolated behind the scenes of whatever, then exploded back upon the cyber-earth with some good shit. I would've completely missed this greatness if it had not been for the hipping a few months back from the young homie C.T.'s Wigger Mortis tumblr (in the sidebar). Tumblrs are some next shit, allegedly, and I had one set up briefly, but they are a clusterfuck of C&Ping from elsewhere, and then now everyone can ask everyone questions, but none of the answers are very entertaining, so it's like this intense fabric of MSG mind content. Not C.T.'s thing though - he's one of the good ones.
I do not know what Shabazz Palaces' ultimate goal is, and most of their songs have real long and oddball titles like this one, which is a plus in my opinion. I have to admit, I do not like nor respect Digable Planets as much as I am supposed to as an open-minded musically inclined solid dude raised in the '80s, grown in the '90s, and struggling through the 21st century's rapidly wilding out tricknologies. They seemed so whispery to me, and I absolutely cannot stand whisper rappers. I can't stand whispering period. It plucks at something deep inside my brain from lifetimes ago, and seriously, fills me with an intense rage that would rather die than listen. Like if I'm ever in some situation where me and someone else is hiding from futuristic murderous robots, and they are walking all around nearby and have ultrasonic hearing anyways, and the person I am with was all, "hey raven whisper whisper whisper," I would probably prefer just jumping up and getting murdered by the robots. And to rhythmically pattern words together in a whisper sound as a form of musical expression? Oh man, pure torture.
I don't know which one of the Digable Planets the Shabazz Palaces dude is, but he's not the most whispery one. Shabazz Palaces is not hard in the paint yelling music, but it's forceful, more like homeless dudes who can play chess real good in public parks than slam dunking ass young folks music. I imagine Shabazz Palaces would test well with Blackalicious fans, though the vibe of the music is far more laid back and won't eventually make you feel crazy like a Coltrane album is skipping in the apartment next door for two hours straight (which is what Blackalicious does to me).
In case you didn't know, about 66 trillion years ago, some dude blew up the planet Earth, and that's how the moon sheared off into an orbiting body. On earth, the human people split up into 13 tribes, all led by scientists. Shabazz was a scientist who thought folks should roll into that area around the Nile that is considered one of the early birthplaces of high civilization (although those historical accounts are far shorter than 66 trillion years... more like 6000 years ago), but the other tribes didn't want to go. Part of that tribe, led by Shabazz himself, wandered deep into central Africa, to conquer the jungle beasts and become master of survivalism. The Nile Valley people all had soft skin and straight hair, but this branch that followed Shabazz into the jungle, the hard life and raw foods gave them a more stereotypical negroid appearance.
Meanwhile, back in Mecca, another scientist named Yakub bred out the fairer features of the original Tribe of Shabazz to genetically engineer "white" people. According to most Nation of Islam type belief systems, these people have devil DNA. However, I'm here to tell you, going back to original teachings, any man is a scientist and has that original DNA that goes back to 66 trillion years ago. And modern man's so-called sciences suggest things have to be proven in controlled clinical environments. But true science can be deduced, without all that sterile tomfoolery to put polysyllabic published papers behind it. I am a scientist because I sit on a tree stump beside pigs and meditate towards the sun's path across the sky. I can feel the original DNA inside of me at times, though usually it gets clouded up with my current worldly emotions and concerns. And really, the cultural desires of the original Shabazz are no different than Appalachian survivalists or Montana freemen. In fact, the "hillbilly" people are a people who are enlightened beyond knowing it, sort of a Taoist uncarved block that never consciously had to realize it was carved and then uncarved. The peak of the Tribe of Shabazz was around 4000 BC, when there were pyramids in multiple areas of the earth. Those pyramids are calling cards to whatever remnants of the other 12 tribes that actually escaped earth rather than dying out, which no one has ever been completely sure about. That's why we have all the spaceship/pyramids connections in our world.
But a mountain is a naturally occurring pyramid, without all the psychic clutter of too much "civilization" which is often polluted by unrighteous people. So hill people are simply modern equivalents to the group Shabazz led into the wilds of central Africa, just with the added benefit of a wild pyramid in their life, without knowing it. Because of this, some have actually started to take on the darker characteristics of their genetic ancestors, it being pulled back out of them as they live lives steeped in the spiritual peak of the human existence, but without the organized clutter of humans actively building something. It is this small group of hill people who became darker due to recalling their existence that pre-dates our current ideas of homo-sapien existence that have become known as the Melungeons. From this sub-tribe should come an individual who will lead us through what has been referred to as The End Times of December 2012. That is not actual end times, like everything stops existing. That's just when the full fall of our current stage of human existence, economic and cultural, that's been brewing for years in America with the housing bubble burst and recession that wasn't a recession but then is over but ain't over, that has led to governments falling in the Middle East in recent months, it's all part of the extreme cultural changes we'll be experiencing drastically very soon. It doesn't mean the end of the world like it blows up; it means the end of the world as you are comfortable.
Shabazz's lessons, to wander into the wild to make yourself harder in order to survive, it is a lesson that still applies. We should all take it to heart. No amount of five-gallon buckets full of soybeans that you've stored under your house, and no amount of weapons caches, and no hidden acreages are gonna outlast these coming changes. Simple physical supplements will not survive it. We have to change our psychology completely, or else we will perish. That is not meant to be scary. In fact, I find it exciting. One man's end of it all is another man's (namely this man's) brand new beginning. It is (another) rebirth for Man.
STEAL "32 leaves dipped in blackness..."
NEXT:
Speaking of hillbillies!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #6: "Rollin' (Diplo remix)" by Jackie Chain featuring Jhi-Ali


I have tried to write three different things about this song and all of them got fumbled somewhere in the runback. Stream of conscious is something I get too caught up in, and since I stopped drinking, I can feel its flow a little too closely at times. Different foods, different electronic patterns in the house, other people's aura floating through the house... all of it seems to be more easily affecting my thought stream. Not sure how to block it sometimes. I mean, if it's too much electronics, sometimes you can go out and flick the breaker and it resets everything, and that clears everything up because it takes a while for the army of machines to get their hummmm and buzzzzzzzz back up, like cicadas and cricket symphonies, but artificial, and never getting quiet for a thunderstorm, unless of course the power gets knocked out.
You can't really live off the grid, contrary to alternative energetic belief systems. You might step off the normal grid, but you're still trapped inside a square of that grid. Oddly enough, a Rojonekku lesson/exercise is taking one of the students along the power lines, those monstrous Tripods carrying the bulk of our electricity straight from alleged "plants" where dinosaur carbon is boiled into power, because power lines are never encumbered by overgrowth, and go for miles between major roads, and you won't see a house for two days of hiking, because who the fuck wants to live underneath a power line. You can feel the hummmmm and buzzzzzz extra strong walkabouting underneath of those things, but it's strangely balanced by the sheer lack of active civilization around as well. Lots of plant life you'll find too, unbothered patches of wild oats, St. John's wort plants blooming like mad, little yellow flowers in megacity clusters. The ol' lady says wild harvesting them is no good for medicine, because of the electromagnetic interference, but I make some tinctures anyways. I mean really, most of my students are still young and fairly degenerated for fat portions of their times not under my eyeballs' double gaze. I figure some electromagnetically charged oils probably helps rather than hurts drawing back them to the powerful side of life.
I've done a lot of meditating upon where machines fall into that life/death equation. At one point, I was convinced that there were good people and bad people, who were both ultimately on the good side of things because you still had to have a soul to go bad. And there was a vast majority of humans who were relatively soulless, or it was so shriveled up and concealed, they didn't know how to access it anymore. I still feel that way, I guess, but not quite sure how to navigate machinery and mechanisms into all that. I mean, there's something that feels good to the soul about walking on railroad tracks, or seeing ran down cloverleafs of graffiti stained elevated highways creepy crawling over a cluster of what was probably a bright beacon downtown of capitalist civilization at one point, but is now faded and damaged and yet somehow still beautiful looking, probably more so than when it was brand new. And junk cars are some of the most beautiful things I know of. How does that equate? Where does it fit?
Oddly enough, this song falls into relevance, because it's an ode to doing ecstasy, and again I'm not sure about the pharmaceutical derivatives of plants that the searching and lost types tend to abuse nowadays. Personally, I like the internal feel of non-pharmaceuticals, because the pure negative sterile energy of the places those types of drugs are manufactured in can really tilt you towards the wrong axis. And yet it still feels good to wander that way, and search for something, altering the mind's outlook by whatever means is available, because something doesn't seem to add up I guess.
Most likely, we can never know the full equation to it all. I make that clear to the Rojonekku students. I am no expert, on anything. If I tell you something and it makes sense, that's great. But don't hold that as gospel because memorized words are frozen in meaning, and the real truth is always slithering back and forth, just out of proper grasp.
STEAL "Rollin'"
NEXT:
Pure motherfucking science!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #7: "Barefoot By The Cherry Tree" by Chris Robinson


The CD this comes off of is New Earth Mud or something like that, and I imagine when Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes was a sophomore in college, and liked to skip his World History class to go to the park and play his acoustic guitar, he wrote most of these songs for Kate Hudson, who was in his Southern Literature class, and they googly eyed each other when they noticed they both were really into Flannery O'Connor. Usually Chris Robinson was more into playing guitar during the day and hanging with his buds in Theta Chi at night. Robinson could get in a zone on the foozball table, especially because he was usually sipping on Sierra Nevadas while everyone else was pounding Natural Lights. And don't get it twisted... he'd drink a Natty Light too, it's just he figured if he was gonna get a drinking buzz on, he wanted it to be clean. But Kate Hudson didn't really run those same circles, at least not then. The next year, when she was a sophomore and he was a junior, that's when she started showing up at parties, and they hit it off and would do X and hang out talking until the sun came up, sitting cross-legged on the 2x4 frame bed nailed up halfway in the corner of his room. She thought it was neat he had painted the walls so dark and put those glow-in-the-dark stars and moons all over the wall, but just in that one corner, so they'd light up under a black light. She was the first girl he'd ever met that knew anything more about the Beat writers than Jack Kerouac, and they would talk about Gary Snyder and joke about playing yabyum, which was their nerdy well-read way of chewing around the sexual tension, but on the edges of it, both of them afraid to scare the other away. You know how things are.
So Chris Robinson would blow off World History class, once in a while at first, but eventually every Tuesday or Thursday afternoon when it was sunny enough, to go sit out in the park on the other side of the athletic complex, just off official campus grounds, and write songs on his guitar about Kate Hudson. Some of his Theta Chi stoner buddies would show up sometimes, playing hacky sack, talking about going to Merlefest next year, but all Chris Robinson would want to do was write songs about Kate Hudson.
Eventually, they got married, had kids, shit screwed up, got divorced. He was briefly addicted to heroin but does a lot of yoga now. She's fucking an MMA fighter from Belize. Their two children are raised by an assortment of caretakers and nannies, most lovingly by a 44-year-old black woman from Liberia. But they're not her kids. You can tell it affects the kids. They don't even know this song exists.
STEAL "Barefoot By The Cherry Tree"
NEXT:
A pharmaceutical anthem!

p i l e b

celebrate my birth with scrap
pile bonfires – huge flames slapping
a berserker’s full moon sky

Saturday, February 26

LEARNED ELDERS: Miroslav Tichy

I'm not sure anyone on this fat, bloated earth really exemplifies the philosophical idea behind The Learned Elders of Rojonekku building more than Miroslav Tichy. A lifelong balance of living the life of an outsider, perhaps starting as an outcast, or perhaps just feeling an alienation from the way the human world seems to naturally spin, and pulling yourself out of it. And then much like the fickle creature it is, civilization tries to force it's way into his world, expects to be embraced.
Nowadays, Tichy is an old dude - 75 years old, trying to live a vaguely hermetic lifestyle, but has now been "discovered" (which I'm fully part of, and furthering with this, but that's part of the lesson with Tichy's tale), disrupting his elder years in the Czech Republic.
Although he is considered one of the great international self-taught artists, he actually received fine arts training in communist Czechoslovakia, and after doing the required military bid as a young man, started to become a fairly promising modernist painter. But his works and attitude made him seem a threat to the paranoid Communist powers in charge, so Tichy was treated as a dissident, monitored closely, harassed, and the effect was he pulled back.
Sometime in the '60s, Tichy then being a man in his 40s, he built a homemade camera from scrap objects - toilet paper rolls, duct tape, cardboard - really, if you look at a picture of what he was taking pictures with, it's amazing and inspiring. (I fully plan on building a camera this summer as well and taking pictures of junk cars at this junkyard in Buckingham, because it makes sense really. Trash pointed at trash, and something hopefully neat-looking or beautiful and visually exciting coming from that. It's like artistic compost almost. You can find directions for building cameras from scrap objects online, and in fact, when I was in elementary school, we still did the oatmeal box pinhole camera experiment in public schools.)
Tichy started wandering his hometown of Kyjov in the '60s, taking pictures of unsuspecting beautiful women, often times in bathing suits, and lots of the times, they had no idea. (There is a certain stalkerish nature to his work, which now that he's an old ass man with a wild long beard, you can write off as just good-natured appreciation of the female form. But I would imagine if he was still a 40-year-old dude of normal health and virility, it would be a lot creepier.) Sometimes, he'd get posed photos as well, because the woman in the picture wouldn't believe he was actually taking a picture with the duct taped cardboard contraption in his hand. He wandered, taking these pictures on through the 1980s. He was still on the Communist government's watch list, so never got any recognition for his homemade pictures, which he developed as well using relatively primitive techniques, creating sepia tones with brown blotches at times, which just added to the ambiance in retrospect. All of it had never seen the eyes of other humans until an old neighbor, Roman Buxbaum, became friends with Tichy, discovered all these pics this dude had been taking, and started collecting them, feeling they should be preserved. Tichy would give the guy big bundles of these secret photographs, and Buxbaum even bought pictures Tichy gave to the elderly woman who was his second moms at the time, another neighbor.
Then the Communist regime fell, and the Czech Republic turned into a more vibrant artsy ass place, centered in Prague, which became a sort of 1990s version of Paris when all the expatriate American writers were living there back in the day. Eventually, Tichy's work was "discovered" at a show curated by Buxbaum in 2004, and his fame exploded. His pictures became a hot commodity in the outsider art/art brut world, which is understandable, and a Tichy Ocean Foundation was set up to be an official place for his art to be disseminated and circulated.
The thing is, Tichy never wanted any of that. He has, in fact, broken all ties with Buxbaum, and says that nobody other than him, the older woman neighbor he gave pictures to over the years, or his lawyer has a right to sell or propagate his works.
Of course, the art world moves much like the rest of our civilized world - without much concern for the person behind the message so much as ready to materially embrace the message. So his works have become more popular than ever, interviewers and fans continually bother the old man at home, and you can go to the Tichy Ocean Foundation website and buy a print yourself if you can afford it. An ostracized man builds a camera from scraps to take haphazard pictures of beautiful women, keeps the thousands of pictures to himself and closest friends, just trying to find some steady inspiration for life, something to happily get out of bed every day and enjoy his life in his own way, and eventually once the marketability of it is discovered, it overtakes that simple life that he so cherishes. Ultimately, this is how you are rewarded for your creative endeavors in our human civilization as it stands. And as many of the kids who are in the Rojonekku plan have dreams of being famous for this or that type of creative expression, that's an important lesson to remember. Fame is not more golden, just because a thousand cameras flash against it. A golden life can shine just as brightly dwelling in the shadows nobody thinks to look. And, in fact, it is in those unseen shadows where that golden life can shine without anyone ever noticing the value of it and trying to commodify it out of your own grasp.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #8: "Fire In The City" by The Grateful Dead with Jon Hendricks


I'm not even going to talk about the Grateful Dead, because as soon as you might be able to enjoy them, on the first spring day of a comfortable year, no work in sight, feeling good to your soul, stereotypical hippieness will rear it's ugly head in some way, in an overly bumper stickered Subaru stationwagon or perhaps somebody sending you an etsy link or just a blank-eyed older dude in those pants that look like pajamas for Bolivians walking past you calling you "brother". It'll ruin it.
I think that's why I like this "Fire In The City" song so much. The Dead should've done more apocalyptic music. Now, if you actually listen to this song, it's most likely about Civil Rights or whatever, and all the riots that were going on back in the day. But I'd like to think it's about an Apocalypse instead. I don't care about history or what's right or a peaceful and tolerant world. I want to be able to enjoy the warmth and breeziness of a good day, and when it's not a good day, I want the whole world to explode into fiery suffering and pain. So this song, if I close my mind just enough, let's me enjoy the best of both worlds.
I do not know who Jon Hendricks is. I think he was the LF for the Pittsburgh Pirates when Dock Ellis pitched that no-hitter on LSD, but I'm also not sure if they had black people riots in Pittsburgh. I would doubt it, because there's too many white people with at least 9 consonants in their last name, and those types of places are usually segregated far beyond black and white and down to like Ukrainian neighborhoods and Russian neighborhoods and Polish neighborhoods and Kenyan neighborhoods and then American mutt blacks live in projects and the fifteen blocks around it and American mutt whites live outside of town, so it's so broken up with micro-segregation that there were no riots, and probably never will be. Sometimes, I wish I lived in a city like that, because I really like good sausages, and wish there was a store with some old fucker behind a glass counter and you could buy actual 9 links of sausage that were still linked and drape them around your neck and walk around like Tony Soprano in that one episode where they were having a cookout. I have always wanted to walk around with sausages like that.
I was gonna say, "But I'm from the South, so instead I get scrapple." But I don't eat scrapple, and most places I would eat breakfast at don't even serve scrapple. Blueberry pancakes maybe, but not scrapple.
STEAL "Fire In The City"
NEXT:
dorm room makeout music!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #9: "A Poor Wayfaring Stranger" by Cliff Gober


Every time this song comes on, I think The Wire is about to start. I am surprised no one has done a hodgepodge Greatest TV Show Evar bullshit show with like Swearingen from Deadwood, Omar Little from The Wire, and Paulie Walnuts all living in the same hotel, probably in that place in California that was gonna be a vacation retreat, but then the lake went salty and everybody died and now nobody lives there but crazy old redneck people, that guy that is painting Jesus messages on the mountain with donated paint, and kitschy gay dudes in relationships who got sick of L.A.'s bullshit, but loved southern California.
I never understand why Jesus is so boring to so many people. I would guess like 3/4 of the people inside the stupid facebooks from my high school eventually post things about how Jesus did this or that and is coming over for dinner on Tuesday night and can heal three-legged kittens and shit like that. It's fucking boring. I want god to be funky, and crazy, and make people wander the desert and paint a mountain with cryptic messages. In my trying times of 2011, I was trying to find me some Jesus, by going into this abandoned school in Buckingham County, and I would take Sharpies with me, and I just went in the far back room and started writing cryptic semi-Biblical sounding things across the wall in roughly 48 pt. font, seeing if I could find my way. I couldn't though; it didn't flow. I think Christian God is in need of some crazy, except any time somebody with the Holy Ghost Spirit rolls onto the scene, they are demonized as fakes and frauds by the establishment churches. I imagine if I lived closer to them, I'd probably check out one of those snake handling spots, because they seem to jibe with me more. As it stands, in that abandoned school, all I ended up doing was freestyle writing in Sharpie about seven made up Penthouse Forum letters that filled up two and a half of the four walls in that far room, from about six feet high to about two feet above the floor, as I didn't want to lay down to write. That place is dirty. I guess the fact I was trying to write some God shit and ended up just writing sexual fantasies in semi-cholo, semi-NYC 1978 script is because the devil still done got hold of me. Not sure I really want to shake it either. I'm a much better person when it comes to doing undoable things compared to the past, but still, sitting around and singing slow songs with a bunch of people stuffed into uncomfortable clothes... doesn't seem very spiritual to me. Maybe I should start a tantric sex cult.
By the way, this song is fucking awesome, whether you get down with god or not. It's very 7th level of music nerd internet whiteboy to say such a thing about black gospel music, but fuck it, I'm all in here at this point. I've got like 1300 posts and 16 followers. It's obvious I should've gave up by now, but I can't for some reason. So maybe I do already believe in Jesus and just didn't know it.
STEAL "A Poor Wayfaring Stranger"
NEXT:
a Grateful Dead song sneaks in!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #10: "Out In The Woods" by Leon Russell


Look, I could go off into one of my goddamned long-winded things that's kind of metaphysical, kind of full of shit, very real, and impresses in introspective moments but is pestersome when you're just looking for lulz inside the interwebz, but the fact of the matter is this song is fucking awesome. The beginning will eventually be looped by some shitty rapper who does some stupid fucking allegedly intelligently lyrical song, and I will hate the guy for it. This shit is on point as it is. The live version off of Leon Live, Russell explains how he asked a Zulu friend what's the Zulu word for being lost. His friend said there was no Zulu word for lost. That's why there's all that "shoo buhla hamma, shaba lah hema" Zulu singing in the song. I guess it means something important. Honestly, the only thing on my mind is sex today, so to me it's just naked women singing on a song, and the words are something about "Come in, sure, let's play cards, and no, we never wear shirts."
STEAL "Out In The Woods"
NEXT:
funky jesus!

r r s a f

looking for love around freight
yards so sketchy – naïve punk
rockers or gone redneck chicks

Friday, February 25

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #11: "Peace Beneath The City" by Iron & Wine


So I got into Iron & Wine there for a while, and the wife loves that sound, so do the kids, so it's getting heavy play here at the compound. I write about it in last month's J.J. Krupert list, and somebody responds that they thought the dude went to VCU nearabouts the same time I did. So I go to Wikipedia, because honestly I didn't know shit about who did Iron & Wine other than it was a guy with a beard, and what do you know... it's a guy that was in art school same time as my ol' lady. It was a guy I knew who lived with dudes I still keep in touch with. In fact, it was a guy who used to sit idly on this little raised theater platform where a bunch of us would always sit, in Shafer Court at VCU, looking like a ragtag bunch of college kids I guess, except like a bunch of long-haired degenerate Allman Brothers roadies. I used to go sit there before classes, and sometimes, the small entourage of comers and goers seemed more interesting than class, so I'd just stay there. People watching. Chit chatting. And there was a guy who sat there too, quiet guy with sad eyes, never really said a whole lot, but was there a lot of times. That was Sam. He is know the Iron & Wine guy to the rest of the world.
Funny thing about that time, and that little group that hung out there, members of that little cluster became members of the well-known Lamb of God, the core of other groups like Alabama Thunder Pussy and RPG. We called it the Southern Rock bench. And looking back at that group as well, thinking about my homey Dave Moore, doing his painting thing to this day in ways I don't think anyone else does (I've got two of his paintings in my raggedy ass house, and proud of it), and just the general crazy vibe of VCU at that time in the early '90s. One thing we've been training our children to think in terms of college is not so much that it makes you accessible to higher paying jobs, but that it opens you up in your personal development. You'll meet people there who will expand what you are into, and you'll meet people who will help you grow into what you are supposed to be. That's some important shit, far more so than worrying about a job.
VCU cleaned itself up a lot since we were there. Shafer Court is all bricked up. I don't think HR of Bad Brains rides his bicycle to free shows on Friday afternoons anymore. I'm not sure if the art school is as important as it once was, since they've been pushing the second-rate business school instead. Which is sad. A lot of shit came out of Richmond that got drawn into Richmond because of that place. A lot of great shit is still gonna come out of it. I write, don't make music, so my window hasn't hit the peak yet, like it has for Iron & Wine or Lamb of God. But it does make me feel better knowing another dude who was just sitting around on that Southern Rock bench with me is now selling out shows and making some chill ass music, and being successful with his creative side, not as some punk ass businessman telling you constantly enough how great his useless thing is until you finally start to believe how his useless thing is awesome and buy into it.
Honestly, the fact is I met my ol' lady there, and had our first conversations on that Southern Rock bench, including talking about how I had a hard time chatting up women, and she gave me a piece of paper as a joke that said "Do you like Raven?" with a box for yes and a box for no, and I kept that piece of paper in a notebook, and five years later we were an item, and what, like 18 years later we've got three kids and five acres and two pigs and eight chickens and one future. I think back to her, the beautiful but crazy hippie chick - probably the closest melding of my ideal "redneck, hippie Mexican woman" that I was searching for that you could come across, and now her on this herbal path, talking at the plants and concocting mad medicines in our kitchen apothecary and building some serious healing powers, but with a spark of creativity and art, and not in a sterile "health food store" way. And I think about myself back then - longhaired goofy gangsta hippie freestyling ass degenerate drunkard - and how to this day I still throw words, still fight at the sprawl trying to crawl into the tall grasses around the edges of my brain, and I know we came together at a Power Site during powerful times. And we're still building our powers now, in our new home of ten years-plus, establishing our compound. I think that's a hard thing for a lot of people to understand when you yourself know you are on a path, there's a destiny you will get to. You are not meant to be obscure or unknown. And when I find out by chance that the guy who was always sitting next to me is the Iron & Wine guy, that kind of drives that destiny home. Not everybody gets born into these paths, or is blessed with a partner who can help blast you (and you her) into that direction. I am a lucky motherfucker, but it was not by accident.
STEAL "Peace Beneath The City"
NEXT:
there is no Zulu word for "lost"!

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #12: "House At Pooh Corner (live)" by Loggins & Messina


I will readily admit that Loggins & Messina is the sappiest, easy listening ass music that I proudly pump. The thing is, I don't get into just any Loggins & Messina. I've actually bought a few of their studio albums in the past and absolutely hated it. I think I even got a solo Jim Messina record one time. And we all know how Kenny Loggins turned out. But the On Stage double live LP this track is off of, I don't know, it has just soaked into my soul in some way that I just can't shake.
I grew up with this record being played by my folks, usually loud as fuck on a hungover Sunday morning after they had been out partying, playing poker or Spades, drinking liquor and beer and smoking weed and disappearing into the back room one at a time to shut the door and come out sniffling and wiping their faces with wide-eyed attention. These were great times for me as all the kids were usually allowed free reign to play wild. We might make paper airplanes and have a war with the wasps nest on the front porch where the rule was once you knocked them to the ground with your plane you could stomp them. We might just have straight up stick fights in the back yard (at like midnight, bunch of kids fighting with sticks in the solitary light of one flood light in rural ass back yards... memories). But we'd be doing something, and it would be way past when we should be awake, and inevitably somebody would get fucked up and go crying into the grown folks room, littered with quarters and Miller High Life pony bottles and playing cards, and they'd tell us to go play. Shit man. This was like every weekend when I was a kid, Friday and Saturday night. If my dad did good at the poker table, when we came through town (Farmville), he'd swing through the drive-through at Hardees (unless it was already after 3 in the morning, when they closed) and buy me a biscuit for the ride home. Other times, he'd be extra fucked up, flying down the road, usually we'd be coming from Cumberland County, sometimes Rice, but always a good 40 minute drive or so back to Meherrin, testing his mortality I guess, and I'd lay down in the back seat or slide down onto the floor and just hope to make it home. Really, as a kid it was completely awesome to have that type of freedom on weekends, but looking back, yeah, probably some rough shit for a kid. I wouldn't roll that way with my kids, I know that much.
Anyways, Loggins & Messina's On Stage was a constant fave on the following hungover Sunday mornings, somehow my dad up and at them early as fuck, cooking up breakfast, waking the dead. I'm not sure if he even went to sleep now looking back. I know the crank was nothing that ever came into our house when I was a kid, it was strictly a weekend warrior partying at other folks type of thing. I think that's how my dad rolled even into his later years, which is why once I was grown, and he had a new family, he'd sometimes disappear for three days for the most part.
It's actually pretty fucked up that I've done crank with my own father. Like at the time, you're like, "Haha, this is crazy man, what a crazy thing!" For the most part, when people are immersed uncontrollably in shit, it is a natural reaction to take pride in that shit, and pretend that being a piece of shit is the greatest thing in the world and somehow makes you better than everybody else. It's reverse elitism. "All those hoity-toity uptight motherfuckers, they don't know the real shit. I'm real motherfucker." I've done it myself, many times. It's the source of many many bad tattoos on this earth. But goddamn, how twisted?
I didn't mean for this to get all weird like that, talking about how my childhood might've been fucked up, because really, I don't think about it for the most part. I don't feel victimized or anything. I mean, I'm a fucked up dude, sure, but we all are. I've got enough shit in my brain to work out that's my own fault before I go looking to blame anybody else for how I am.
But Loggins & Messina' On Stage, I don't know, I guess those mornings when there wasn't school on the weekend, when the ol' man was cooking up breakfast, and my mom was cleaning up the house or whatever, it was the most chill ass time, where there felt like a leisurely love in the house, instead of running off to catch a schoolbus or sell a bag of weed or everybody pile into one shitty car to drive all over three goddamned counties to get everybody to work and school on time. So I guess Loggins & Messina's live album associates in my mind with that. Because that's how I feel when we play at our house, cooking breakfast on a Sunday morning, kids running around the house, me and the ol' lady flirting with each other, stealing kisses, making coffee, grabbing eggs out the chicken coop for the freshest omelet possible. It's all love. "Danny's Song" off On Stage is certainly the more loving couple song, but "House At Pooh Corner" really ties it into the kids, ya know? It makes it family, but not in a purposely corny way like putting on a Barbie Princess CD would.
And I guess, completely by accident, my point of all the gibberish is this: we all have fucked up childhoods in one way or another, or at least a lot of us do. All you can do is try and hold onto the good parts of what you were taught, no matter how small or large a part of the overall body of work that is, and let go of the shitty lessons. Let go of that shit. Because if you get too hung up in being proud of being a piece of shit, you'll accidentally raise more little pieces of shit. Call me crazy, but I'd like my kids to end up being better people than me.
STEAL "House At Pooh Corner"
NEXT:
how the hell does "iron" go with "wine"?

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 #13: "Drunk Tekneek" by King Tee


Recently, using the simplicity of Audacity, I took the first side of DJ Quik's Way 2 Fonky album, with the help of any 12-inch single from that album side I could find, and did a wonked out "remix" that basically pitch shifted the fuck out of it, threw in instrumental parts, looped it to hell, fuzzed out some vocals with double tracking, just simple nonsense. The end result was pretty goddamned awesome. It gave me the idea to maybe roll through more album sides like this, and it's hard to think of a good music to slow, because slowing it changes the sound so weirdly. But I pretty much knew the logical next project would have to be the first side (aka the Drunk Side) of King Tee's Tha Triflin' Album.
This is an album that, had the second side been half as good as the first, would probably be considered a G-Funk era classic of hip hop. King Tee has always been that west coast old school heavyweight from way back (I mean WAY back) who was knocking on the door of making an absolute classic, but never quite did. And this album is that old school heavyweight, obviously infused by the freshness of his DJ's crew (that being E-Swift, who was his DJ, but also a member of Tha Alkaholiks, who had not yet been "discovered" so to speak, but became part of King Tee's crew on this album, and launched their own record industry career) knocking it as close to out the park as he probably ever did.
King Tee really played up the drunk schtick on this one, perhaps just vibing with his new crew's style, or maybe siphoning off them to the point of biting, or who knows, maybe he was just setting the world up for that alcoholic flow. I don't know. I judge not, because this is good stuff. Especially this opening cut. Back before people stopped making actual full-length albums and just did spotty mixtapes to build momentum for Itunes and ringtone-ready single launches, rap got real skit-heavy, so that a good 5 to 15 minutes of your average hip hop release was like a shitty In Living Color sketch. So for this album to just come out the gate with a deep and dirty thumping drumbeat, and King Tee just getting simple and direct with the lyrics, it got you geeked right from the start. Right from the fucking start. It's probably that adrenalinized initial momentum that makes me think so highly of Tha Triflin' Album to this day. Because not until the last posse song on that first side, with Nefertiti and Mad Kap, that it starts to drag. And then by the time you're halfway through the second side, you're like, "Damn, I'm just gonna go back to the beginning again." I actually had this in them olden days of dual cassette tape decks, so I dubbed the first side onto another tape, and then through tape over the second side of the original and taped the Drunk Side onto the other side too. Sound quality was a little shittier, but who cared? Back then we rocked tweeter kicks on fuzzed out speakers with pride, smoking weed that was affordable and not named after fruit products, and drinking big giant bottles of fortified alcohol that made your brain feel like it got dropkicked from the inside by Koko B. Ware. But that's how the world was, and it felt good, and made sense, because we still had pay phones and Ms. Pac Man machines at the coin laundry and there were mostly just dudes and chicks and dudes that dressed like chicks, not transgenders or furries or stuff like that.
I am not really trying to say yet again that the internet age has ruined everything, because it hasn't, and that would be stupid and curmudgeonly of me. But let's say in this new age, when you are an Odd Future or a Lil B, and you release a new mixtape or project or whatever you have it every other two weeks, you're just recording pretty much anything and everything you do, and slapping it in different orders that make relative sense, and I'm not sure with that "tekneek" you could ever come out the gates swinging like this. Ever. I guess it's like if you're having sex with a chick twice a day for years on end, you never really get hyped up enough to have that hardcore performance, even when everything is clicking just right, window open, spring breeze blowing on your naked asses. But if you only get one shot a week, and then you have like a three week period where nothing happens because of this or that, and you have that first time back, you come out hitting hard, complete A-game, life or death drumbeat rhythm behind you. In fact, there's not many better examples I could give you right now in this moment than this "Drunk Tekneek" song to show that less is more. More or less.
STEAL "Drunk Tekneek"
NEXT:
getting AM radio sappy up in this piece!

Friday Love/Hate

I hate how science, specifically genetic engineering, is so limited. It is impressive to me the effect of a slightly overweight, sassy, but friendly in fact shot of communal adrenaline exuberant black lady can be. They just brighten up your day like sunshine after a snowstorm. But usually genetic engineering in our creepy scientific explorations is to do things like make people not have cancer or be born without the possibility of having crohn's disease or something. And then they try and make us feel better when depressed with creepy pharmaceutical derivative of psychotropic plants that wack out our internal neurology. Why can't somebody just do a whole shitload of functional MRIs on happy assed black women who talk real loud and laugh a lot and see what makes them tick, so to speak, and try to make up some brain juice that the rest of us could sip on and get ourselves less goddamned doom-and-gloomy all the time? Of course, science being what it is - creepy and misguided, and wanting to have everything done in a controlled environment, it would probably just clone sassy black women in a lab somewhere, and withdraw endorphins from them to inject in the rest of us. Except in that environment, then the black women wouldn't be as sassy and happy and bright and say, "You going home? I bet you excited. I got 15 more minutes and I'm right behind you. And if you think I ain't gonna be down that road in 15 minutes, and with cold glass of Budweiser in half an hour, you'd be crazy child! I hope y'all have a good night. I know I'm going to, honey. Hahahaha." They'd just be all lethargic and sad and wouldn't produce the right happy happy joy joy endorphins, and then science would act like it's something that can't be figured out because they couldn't recreate it in their sterilized, completely controlled environment, and would act like sassy, happy assed, loud black women didn't really exist as a thing, and you were a fool for thinking that such a trend in our world was real and not just pure chance. Fucking science man.

I love the vast possibilities of time travel. Like if we had time machines, and me having this open wound in my belly that's still got like three weeks to heal completely, if I had a time machine, an older me could've came to now, marked the exact spot of the gaping wound, and gone back and gotten a tattoo of that screaming man painting on my belly down onto my left thigh where the eventual wound would be exactly where the screaming mouth was. That shit would be hilarious looking, and really be the perfect example of making lemonade when life gives you lemons. Of course, the reality of old me traveling to now to mark the spot would involve two mes having to stand side-by-side, so that the older me could get the spot marked perfectly for the tattoo. And honestly, I don't know a time in my past where I'd have a few hundred dollars to waste on a novelty tattoo like that. It also brings to mind the whole holographic universe theory where everything you do or every choice you could've made is being done and occurring somewhere in the universe, so that there is an infinite number of yous doing every possible thing everywhere. It's just this one you is the only you you know about. So my screaming man tattoo where a surgical wound is the mouth, it would really only affect that one infinitesimal me. And who's to say the surgical team would have picked that same spot to insert their laparoscopic technology into me if there was a tattoo there? That's the butterfly effect bullshit there. This all brings to mind the very real possibility that time travel already exists, due to Tesla coil technology, but we are three-dimensional beings so can't really understand it. Or more likely, there are those in control of the time travel technology who basically leave the majority of us humans, in all our infinitesimal variations throughout the universe, in the dark so to speak, so that we are working away our lives for their benefit, whatever that may be. Still though, I think it would be pretty funny if me having this open wound leaking from my body this one little five to six week period of my life could've had a funny tattoo around it. Then when they are stuffing the strips of gauze into my wound when it gets repacked twice a day, it would be like they were feeding the tattoo, poking a long string of food into his mouth with a sterile swab. That would be funny to me.

g r f a l

“my soul – like eagle – fly high,”
I sing in broken english
on my wagon ride westward

Thursday, February 24

h o t l c

one: junkie complex catches
fire; two: cops clear it out; three:
invasive plants take over

Wednesday, February 23

LEARNED ELDERS: Lemmy Kilmister

Anything I could say about one Lemmy Kilmister has probably already been said. The dude saw The Beatles perform in a bar in England back in the day. He was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. His time with Hawkwind was not only that band's best years, but probably the absolute most perfect swirl of hippie energy with outlaw biker alpha male machismo that ever got etched into wax. I am still to this day amazed at Doremi Fasol Latido any time I dig the album out and put it to the turntable. And shit man, everyone knows about Motorhead. But the simple fact that the same guy who was singing and thunk up Hawkwind's "The Watcher" also came up with "Ace of Spades"... I don't know if anybody has ever been so goddamned perfect at very different ends of a spectrum.
Personally, in high school I rocked a jean jacket for a while with a Motorhead back patch. Of all the old Oui magazines my dad had stored under his bed, when I knew they were overlooked and I could embezzle a couple to keep in my room, inevitably the one with a long Motorhead interview was one I chose. This was an interview from the early '80s, and Lemmy was snorting lines of crank off a giant knife then, saying he had been doing it for 20 years and obviously nothing was wrong with him. The pictures had him and Philthy Animal Taylor rubbing motor oil all over a naked chick, and in the interview, Lemmy said, "Sex, drugs, and motor oil," which has been a phrase I toss out ever since. I don't know if anybody has ever known where it came from.
To this day, apparently, even as an old man, Lemmy still lives in the same shitty little Hollywood apartment he's been in since the '80s, and still drinks whiskey like a goddamned hellion. Still has the long hair and scowl, but oddly enough, probably knows more about music than most living human beings. I mean seriously, look beyond the drugs and mayhem and ultimate rock-n-roll persona, and you're talking about a guy that was living with Jimi Hendrix when Jimi still dabbled in soul. You're talking about a guy that sat in a bar and saw The Beatles play before that was an impossibility. You're talking about a guy that was a veteran of the early '70s festival circuit long before he became a 1980s rock icon. He has had his finger in a number of eras, and pretty much has sat on the mountain like a crazy hermit and witnessed the entire birth, growth, sprawl, and stagnation of rock-n-roll music itself.
And he's still unrepentant. There's no regret in him looking back at all. That's a good lesson - that all the fucked up shit you do, the mistakes and screw ups, it's all part of a process. And if you run from yourself, you're just gonna run yourself into another wrong turn. It's best to just soak it in, and move on. The natural world doesn't change drastically, so why should we? Sure, it's constantly changing, and Lemmy's career discography is about as wide-ranging a collection as you could probably get. And actually I had a partial MP3 of him doing "Ace of Spades" for a German commercial acoustically, like a return to those early Hawkwind roots. Why not? It's all part of what he is. We all have to just be what we are. There are always gonna be people that typecast and try to fit us into one mental photographic angle of how they view us, regardless of whether we fit that 24-7/365 or not. Just keep on being though. Sex, drugs, and motor oil.
And man, I wonder whatever happened to that jean jacket I had with the Motorhead back patch? The things I did in that jacket as a young aspiring rock-n-roll delinquent in Farmville, Virginia...

MNZ: Waxpoetics November/December 2010


Man, Waxpoetics is one of the best reads you can get off a magazine stand, but at $10 an issue, it's just not something one can afford. I mean shit, any half-assed book I can think of from whatever point in history about any subject whatsoever I can cop off of half.com for less than $10 usually. And if it really comes down to either a fresh issue of Waxpoetics, with some really neat-o pictures of old soul and funk shit, and heavily filled with crate digging nerdiness (which I admit, I enjoy the fuck out of) or just copping a discarded copy of Nelson Algren's collected short stories for $7, then I'm probably gonna go with the latter. How much do I really need to know about four months of Sly Stone's life in 1974, or how a Brazilian jazz legend transcended into today's music through a few J. Dilla samples?
That being said, when I got throwed into the hospital I think the third time this past month, my ol' lady was like, "I'm going to Barnes & Noble... give me a list of magazines." In my head, I laughed, because it made me feel like Brother Mouzon from The Wire, and I was already preparing to be like, "Why didn't you get me my Atlantic Monthly like I asked?" when she got back, except we already brought the Atlantic Monthly with us to read in the waiting room before I found out they were re-admitting me, yet again. And I put Waxpoetics on the list, saying "It's expensive as fuck, but usually a good read. They might not have it, and it's small and can be tucked away, so don't look too hard for it. But if you find it, get it." She found it, so I got it.
Oddly enough, the night before my re-admittance, I had downloaded a bunch of old War, which is a group I have almost everything pre-1980 from on vinyl, but have really not gotten digital copies of much of it, if at all. The World Is A Ghetto is a seminal piece of album awesomeness in my mind, and an album that inspired me creatively as a rhymewriter very heavily for a few years. "Four Cornered Room" is a goddamn miracle of a song, and probably sums up how I've pegged the entire world inside my heart, soul, and ragged brain better than any other 8-minute long piece of music ever made.
The War article made me sad though, a very in-depth accounting of their rise and fall as a record company commodity. Basically, like a ton of groups back then, and to this very day, they ended up surviving it all, but can't even perform as War anymore, as their manager from back then owns more of what they did than they do. That's always the sketchy thing about the music industry. In fact, at the Good News & Bad Dope hip hop blog I sometimes contribute to, I had a piece the other day about Yelawolf, Rittz, and the Odd Future performance on the Jimmy Fallon show, talking about how weird it is Yelawolf is excited to be signed to Shady Records, when so many before him have been signed, dwindled in major label purgatory, never released anything to any actual good sales, and been hustled out of their deal owing a fat chunk of change to the dotted line they signed because they didn't recoup their advance money. Tweeted out the link, and maybe like 19 people saw it, but somehow I got a cease and desist order for copyright infringement. When I looked up the order, of course nothing showed up, but rather than have the blog disappeared by Blogger, I took down all the links. Now I doubt Rittz cared that I was hyping his new song that he circulated all over the internet, and the Odd Future on Fallon youtube link had the internet going nutz already, so by process of elimination it had to be the Yelawolf link, to a song that came off a free mixtape from last spring. Except once he signed to Interscope, they re-released it with a couple new songs as an actual thing you buy. And I'm sure with the new attachment to Eminem's label, Yelawolf has internet wolves working on his behalf to make sure no one shares any of his creative material without properly paying holmes. Because all 19 people who went to that blog all would've spent $12 for his shitty reworking of a free mixtape from last spring. But the point is, the record industry still has heavy weight, and carries itself with self-importance that doesn't see the real world around it. Try to google "Taylor Swift" and "mediafire" and see how little you see. Do the same for whatever indy band you like. Them record people are right on top of some things, the chosen things. They're gonna get their money. The people making the music, 9 times out of 10, don't end up with shit, but the record industry cartel leaders, they'll be paid, one way or another. Count on that. (And while I can't help but feel like Yelawolf sold out from all this, who can blame him? The dude might be naive, but who the fuck wouldn't be in that position? I know I would. And chances are, he'll end up a forgotten man ten years down the road, probably living along the same Alabama road he so proudly mentions as his blue collar roots now. I hope he gets a good run out of the ride though.)
Beyond the War article making me sad at how the record industry is such a piece of goddamned soulless shit that takes actual wonderful creative energy, like what War did, and saps the members of their passion. To persevere takes a ton of personal energy. But it's just another good warning story as to how the monkey's paw will fuck you up every time.
Other than that, it was another quality Waxpoetics. There was a couple pages of pictures of old boomboxes from the '80s. And they always have some DJ or producer or somebody talk on 10 records that really impressed upon their lives before they were famous. DJ Muggs was the dude doing that in this issue, and I found his tastes to be remarkably like mine in some ways (Houses of the Holy... no shit, someone else thinks that's the ultimate Led Zeppelin album), and yet completely contrarian to me as well (I have never understood the suburban pseudo-revolution of Rage Against the Machine). All in all, it was $10 that ate up a couple hours of my hospital stay. I had a friend of the family come visit me one morning while my wife was out, making sure I didn't need anything, but I was zonked out on painkillers, sleeping, so she sat there and enjoyed the magazine. I woke up and she smiled at me, like "Okay, you're finally awake," and talked about how great War was. And they are. Contrary to whoever it is that thinks they own what music they created, War is still fucking awesome.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - February '11 Intro


In the month of February, I turned 38. One of the initial mathematical plannings of the Lessons of Rojonekku (which will be available later this year) was the double spiral of life. I have broken the calendar into 10 parts, rather than 12, so that after 36 years of living, times 10 parts to each year, I had lived 360 degrees, or experienced an entire circle of life. Except it's more of a spiral than a perfect circle, because nothing naturally is closed in upon itself. And starting with my 37th year, this was to be my second 360 degrees, second spiral through life, probably landing roughly around 72 years total if all goes as I've metaphysically calculated. The thinking behind this is the first 36 years - the first spiral - you are soaking in life, absorbing everything your various environments throw at you. It is you growing your soul. None of us have any serious amount of wisdom in those first 36 years. But once you hit that second spiral, it is time to start spinning it all back out there. You are now shooting your soul's philosophies back out at your environment, letting your influence upon the world be done, as it can. Some people never really get anywhere with themselves, and their aura makes very little ripple on the outward spiral. Other folks shoot that spiral out and even if it makes little noise at first, it has aftershocks and reverberations and can ripple for years, decades, even centuries. I've always felt like I was to ripple for years. I don't know about the centuries, and won't be around to see it, but I know I've absorbed some serious strong powers in my first 36, a vast wealth of things that makes me very much unlike anyone else, except somehow at the same time exactly like everybody. Not sure how much that makes sense, but somehow at the same time I am completely confident that I am an original voice unlike most anything else you can find in books, internets, print, anywhere, and yet at the same time I'm very common and can make sense to and of anybody. I think it's a personal skill I learned in that first 36, to get along well with all, in as special a way as you can, because you never know who you're gonna end up backed up against a wall with in life, and when it's gonna happen.
What I'm trying to say is that the entire month of February has been a healing process for me, laid up in the bed most of the time, with an open wound in my abdomen, infected scientifically with a very specific bacteria which contaminated me during a surgical procedure, but also infected spiritually with things that go back up my family tree for more generations than I honestly fucking even know. And that healing process has been going on since I slipped on ice, fell off a five foot porch in January, and completely twisted my neck and back up into the wrong way. And honestly, it probably all goes back to the end of October when I quit drinking after an almost-all-nighter where I was wandering the same roads I had wandered a ton of times in that first 36, not even able to absorb anything new because I'd already seen that, been there, done that. It was a realization that if I was gonna be true to myself, if I was gonna be able to shoot that second spiral out effectively, I was gonna have to stop pretending to still be in the first 36 and soaking in the same old shit that I'd already sopped up pretty heavily.
Anyways, the point of all this is February was my birthday month. It was also a month that I had three hospital stays. In my entire life I've only had four hospital stays, so it's been an out-of-whack month. I am not sure if I'll physically go back to work within this page of the calendar or not, though I hope to. I really want to, but the fact of the matter is I still have a 2-inch deep wound oozing pus on my belly, ironically just under the right end of a tattoo that says LOUNGIN'. It's hard to really say that means anything special to the music I've been playing more heavily in this time period, because I can't really say that about any month with this J.J. Krupert experiment. Phases come and go and will peak but still carry weight within the parameters of how I do this for a few months after they've maxed out. Other things storm into my heart, but fade fast and never even make the list. But I know this has been some very introspective time, which has been tough, but is also good. There are some things in the works, possibly very big things, that could allow my second 36 to start spiraling out in the next 12-pack of calendar pages. I think it's important that I've been dwelling upon this in my brain, sitting in the back yard staring out at a world with headphones on, within the lunar confines of the month I was originally born into. It feels like this all makes sense. And actually, though I've struggled, I think my attitude through all this health bullshit has been pretty good. It feels like it was a necessary process, a cleansing on more levels than the scientific.
So yeah, February... more music, more ramblings. It is what I do. Give me comments, curses, donations, and death threats. Share it with your friends. I mean, it's gonna be here either way, but I've absorbed a good buffet of this and that in the first 36, and I would bet you probably have to. It's nice to toss it back out there and feel how we all ripple together. Most internet motherfuckers want you to recognize their greatness, or drive up their e-traffic. While I wouldn't mind that, because it would probably help those I will have to eventually get in bed with appreciate my wider appeal a little easier as I start rippling out this second spiral, I am very appreciative of those that I know are here regularly, and have been, some for years. We are in this together, and however successful or uneventful the coming years are for me, and whether my second spiral ripples out or fizzles into an embarrassing nothing, I am a loyal man, probably to a fault. We will always be in this together.
FIRST UP: Some old west coast feel-good gangsta shit!

r r s a c

hound dog’s annoying nose sniffs
a thousand smells I didn’t
even know existed – git

Tuesday, February 22

LEARNED ELDERS: Gabriel Duenez

Gabriel Duenez has achieved fame in recent years as a guy who, according to urban legend, spearheaded a musical movement called cumbia rebajada, which is basically cumbia music slowed down to a slower pace, so that the bass bumps higher from the pitch shifts in sound, and the snares and high ends pop a little more, with vocals turning ghostly. The story of how he discovered this sound, like anything, is murky at best, and with word-of-mouth being involved, who knows if he was actually even the guy to do it, to first have batteries die in a radio pumping at a dance, but loving the warbled sound so much that he purposely recorded from 7-inch records in that manner to create mixtapes he sold at the Monterrey flea market in Mexico of nothing but slowed down warbled cumbia music. The sound, when combined with mind-altering substances, is really pleasing.
But in the context of Learned Elders, the lesson with Duenez is not fame, because he does not have that, except for in tiny corners of the internet (this part included now, I guess) where guys who have nothing better to do with their time than dig through all sorts of music that has no cultural relation to their immediate life can prop this guy up as The Creator of a Sound. In real life, you know where Gabriel Duenez is? Fixing air conditioners as an old ass Mexican man somewhere in or around Houston, Texas, turning screwdrivers with old hands that used to hold vinyl records with obsessive love. Being the cumbia rebajada guy has meant very little in the way of propping his life up on a pedestal, beyond the adulation of those not present in his life. Like, he will never probably know about this Learned Elder thing, nor will his death be broadcast in major newspapers, so the old guy may pass on to the next world and I'll never know.
But he loved music, and not playing it but listening to it and sharing what he loved with others, and sat in a Mexican flea market selling tapes to anyone who would want one. Life was life, and he ended up working on air conditioners in Texas as an old man, those high life days of playing music for shaking asses back in the '60s faded memories, replacing thermostats and cleaning filters and smelling the dusty muck of stagnant water at the bottom of an AC tray.
The Learned Elders Hall is for the students of my Rojonekku school, and I know a lot of this Gabriel Duenez write-up sounds like internet pretentiousness, but for the Rojonekku kids, the lesson is a man who loved something, shared something, and ultimately got nothing material out of the arrangement. Yet his life started something in motion that has spread beyond him, and he probably doesn't even realize it. That's the beauty of what you can do as a person. You may never be rewarded financially for what you take on as your life's passion, and to expect to have that happen is naive, and often times actually compromises that passion in the process. But there's something noble and beautiful and perfectly pure about shooting those passions out to the world, and the ripples reverberate, whether you see them or not. Ultimately, with the transplanting of Rojonekku kids in other states, that's my goal as well. It moves beyond you, into other worlds, and just spirals on its own. You start something and let it spiral. It is probably better a lot of times not to turn it into money, because then you start to feel ownership of what it is that is spiraling out, and you want to control it, so as to maximize the profit factor. But you can't control the spirals and ripples you create; and by trying to, you destroy them.