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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On The Anniversary Of My Mom's Death....

When I write about my folks, I drop the whole DNA persona. I wasn't DNA to them, ever.

My Mom died a few years back on April 28th. I honestly couldn't tell you the year right now, though it hasn't been long. Two, maybe three years? It's hard to tell. I still feel her present, so it doesn't feel very different for me unless I want to pick up the phone and give her a call (this hasn't happened to me in while, however).

For those of you who knew my Mom, you know I'm not being prone to hyperbole when I say she was probably the smartest person I have ever known, and I surround myself with pretty smart people. She had a mischievous gleam in her eyes, even in her old age. Her weapons and her anodynes were her words and her intellect. She was deeply religious, and deeply caring. I think she passed some of these traits on to me, and more of them onto my siblings.

For those of you who didn't know her, I hope now you do a little.

I usually tell a story about her at this time of year. Here's one: Imagine how cool this Mom had to be, when her 17-year old son, who had applied to West Point (and met entrance requirements), University of Illinois' Aeronautical Engineering Program (and met requirements) Millikin University (and been offered a full scholarship for vocal), and SIU (offered a full ride scholarship and been accepted into their Engineering Program) told her that he doesn't really know if he is cut out for college.

She asks him, "Well, what do you really want to do? What do you love?"

"Well, Mom," he says, "I love music, and I want to play music in a band."

There was no screaming match, no "You're going to college no matter what, young man!" Instead, she says, "If that's what you really want to do, then you should do it. But," she adds, "you need to know what it is like to be a working musician." Then she spends the next several hours talking about options and choices, and ends by saying, "Whatever you decide, I will support you."

Yes, I'm talking about my Mom and me, and yes, you don't have to imagine, she was cool. I decided that I should go to college, but music never left my life.

Although I don't think Mom liked the genre of music I played, I think she appreciated the musicianship that was displayed. She supported my artistic endeavors, especially when the message of my music was different philosophically than what she believed. I did write one song before she died that I know she liked. It's called Remember, a song I wrote as lullaby for my yet unborn son, Carl. When Mom heard it, she smiled and said that I was finally getting it.

I present it to you at this link: Remember

Did you listen? Are you all sad now? Don't you think I sounded a little like Kermit the Frog? I'll leave you with a song I wrote for Mom after she died, which summed up my feelings at that time.

It's called One More Time.

That's the best I can do for her (for now).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Little Shop of Kicking ASS!

You recall that DNA is playing in the pit band for Little Shop Of Horrors, right. Of course. You have been waiting breathlessly for an update.

DNA has played two shows of the trifecta so far, and in spite of limited practice time, the pit band for the Little Shop Of Horrors production being put on by the local high school has performed admirably well. The kids in the play are terrific. Imagine you are sixteen years old, with way more interesting things to do than when you were actually sixteen years old, and you were in a play with 200 pages of music....a play which includes about 150 pages of dialogue, and takes about two hours to complete. That's a tall order to ask a teenager to take, and yet, they have done it well two nights in a row.

After the first show, DNA swapped CDs with Shane, our guitarist, who is in a straight up rock and roll band called Junkvine. Shane is good, you know, the way Eric Johnson is good. He's okay, the way Joe Satriani is okay. He is passable as a guitarist, the way Alex Lifeson is passable as a guitarist. In other words, he is technically masterful, and intuitively very, very, damned good. Jason is an excellent drummer, who has been running sound WHILE he has been playing the show, which is unbelievably difficult, and he's doing it with ease; and Dave, keyboardist, has been directing the music, cueing the kids onstage, cueing us, and playing the keys, his second instrument, (he prefers the sax) like he was born to it. And DNA? Grooving along the bottom of the musical river, digging every minute of it.

DNA is a self-serving bastard, like we all know, and he has enjoyed himself so much that he hopes to get these guys together again and play a show or two. DNA can not wait to see if a gig could be put together with these guys AND the Hand of God Attachment at the same time. Perhaps the event would produce a total eclipse of the sun, or some other more catastrophic concatenation of circumstance. DNA isn't trying to cut Mr. Kamikaze, AMiCO, or Carlito out of the picture, he just knows the likelihood of getting them all together at the same time is low. When you keep going back to the well, and the well is dry, sometimes it's time to dig a new well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dominating Another Forum

Yes, DNA has recently joined the Facebook community. Next: DNA on the side of waffle boxes and underwear. But really, who hasn't seen DNA on underwear already?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

They Can't Get Enough Of Me....

The Nightlife did a bang up job on the review of DNA's latest rock opera. DNA was recognized on the street in Carbondale by some random guy who said, "Aren't you the fat bald dude from the paper?" To which, DNA replied, "No, you have me confused with your mother."

Last week, DNA was asked by his son's music teacher to play in the pit band for the local high school's production of "Little Shop Of Horrors." DNA said, "Yes." DNA is a music whore, really. Deprive the world of some DNA juiciness? Unthinkable. They should have called the musical "Little Shop in the key of Fucking B Flat," and it would have more accurately captured the "horror" that an old rock and roll fart like DNA is experiencing right now.

Really, it has been a blast practicing some different stuff, but it has reminded DNA why he started playing rock and roll to begin with: the shit's a lot easier than playing show tunes in a concert key. We'll be doing three shows, 15 to 16 numbers, and less than a full week to practice. This is the level of stress and impossible deadline which will really bring out DNA's best. It doesn't hurt that the other guys DNA is playing with are actually really talented musicians, unlike the epileptic dog fuckers DNA normally has to slum around with :D

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Nice Review For FOTGDITES

The wonderful folks over at the Carbondale Nightlife published a review and announcement for DNA's new baby, From Obscurity To Global Domination In Three Easy Steps and DNA didn't even have to pay anybody, or wear kneepads like he did the last time! Thanks, Nightlife staff! Especially the little people, no really, the little-people, like Rosie Gordon. DNa hopes she likes her song, and was honored to try to write a little ray of sunshine.

It's hard to read this suck ass scan DNA did, but it goes something like this: Hey everybody, this fucker is still pretty good, even though he's been around an awful long time. How many records did he release last year, seven? What the fuck, doesn't he have a real job or a family? At least he doesn't take himself too seriously. Go to his website! They say some other really nice stuff, too, but DNA will make a better scan so you can read it yourself.

Did you know that if you apply the Bible code to the liner notes of the album, by skipping equidistant letters in repeating sequence, that the words chili-whip, dirty sanchez, and Cleveland Steamer all cross each other in the same matrix that includes an anagram for either Satan or maybe Santa, God, or maybe dog, and hell or possibly hello. And if you knew that, how did you know, because DNA just made it up? The chance of you knowing exactly what DNA was lying about before he made it up are so astronomical as to be, well, astronomical. That's like greater than the chance that life spontaneously erupted on this planet a few billion years ago....oh wait, that happened, so the chance of it happening was actually exactly 100%. The chance of you already knowing DNA's lie before he said it is a lot lower than 100%, it's more like the percentage chance that an intelligent designer is hard at work on life even as we speak. If the truth of intelligent design is so undeniable to some folks, he challenges any of them to explain why almost every species that has ever lived is now extinct? Surely an intelligent design would be correct from the beginning, instead of expressing itself across generations and species over time that appear to change over time in response to their environments.....ah, there's a more precise way to say that, a selection that is more natural than the word choices DNA has made....but DNA digresses. What he meant to say was the review was good, and there are no hidden messages in the liner notes. Really.



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Neil Young Sexuality Bathroom Forum

An interesting cultural phenomena has taken place in DNA's place of work over the last few weeks. In the bathroom of the office of the building in which DNA works, a debate about the virility, sexuality, and competence of Neil Young has scrawled itself across the wall of the stall on the far end of the facility. This kind of community forum almost always degenerates into something crude, and this was no exception, but it did lead DNA to think about the proper use of a derogatory term, if there is one.

First, in an unsteady hand, in large letters with a fine lined pen, the opening salvo in the debate shot across the wall: Neil Young is a PUSSY! A few days later, in a tighter hand, at seated eye level, came the cavalry: NEIL YOUNG RULES!

For a few days, things settled down. However, one morning, right underneath the exhortation of Young, came this addendum: IN THE GAY WORLD!

Then, as a new avenue of debate was opened, several responses in quick succession appeared on the wall:

Neil Young sucked my dick! He liked it!

He gives good head.

Neil Young loves my cock. I am bi, he's a fag!

My favorite Neil Young gay pride song is "After The Pearl Rush"




So, it appears at least on the wall, that Neil Young did not fare well in the real world, but is a hero in the gay world. DNA didn't realize that there was a gay world, which had a ruler, Neil Young, and wondered, what life is like in the gay world ruled by Neil Young. Is it like Bizarro World, in Superman comics, and exists separately from our own world, in another universe, or does it exist right here, under our noses, indistinguishable from the "regular" world? If DNA had to compare Neil Young rocking in the free world to Neil Young ruling in the gay world, knowing how kick ass Neil rocks in the free world, then DNA has to say that if Neil Young were ruling in the gay world, then that's where DNA would like to live. Perhaps DNA already lives in the gay world. Perhaps the free world and the gay world are the same thing. What is the opposite of the gay world? The straight world? Which one would be freer, do you think, to have and express your own ideas?

The reason DNA thinks we all already live in the gay world has to do with the corollaries to the bathroom forum statements above. For example, one commenter wrote, "Neil Young sucked my dick! He liked it1" The first question DNA would have for this commenter would be if you think Neil Young rules the gay world, and you yourself feel that ruling in the gay world is a bad thing, then why would you let Neil Young suck your dick? Wouldn't that by definition make you party to Neil Young's Gay World Order? Unless, you were somehow the passive object of Neil's activity, or somehow unable to resist the advances of a 65 year old man? Maybe you were sleeping when he crept into your room, or maybe you were really drunk and didn't realize he was a dude. Or perhaps, you are a fuckhead moron.

Of course, what we really have here is not a forum on Neil Young's sexuality, it is a forum on his music, and more importantly, on the philosophy his music represents. So, when someone says Neil Young is gay, he is trying to say that Neil Young is an enemy to their way of life and their way of thinking. Unfortunately, characterizing this opposition as gay is a use of the word gay which should be done away with, because it really does purposely inflict harm on an otherwise unrelated demographic. If we were to follow this logic to its natural conclusion, here, we can imagine that there are probably many gay people who do not like Neil Young's music, and hence, would find him gay. Gay times gay equals straight. How can Neil be gay and straight at the same time? Using this term is too imprecise. As much as DNA is against the thought police, we really do have to get away from using this term as a way to describe something we don't like. DNA suggests using the word "retarded" instead, or maybe "black," "muslim," or "female."

Smile. DNA is poking fun at all of us, like the cheeky way you poke a bear with a stick as he is rooting through your trash in Yellowstone Park. Instead of any of those words to describe our displeasure, perhaps we can simply say we don't like something when we don't like something, or use some other colorful language that doesn't involve the degradation of a group of people. But, DNA, you say, that's really hard to do, and requires some intelligence to be aware of others to whom you are referring. Yes, that is true. Do you have to watch every word you say? Well, yes. Say what you mean. Don't hide behind cheap language.

On the other hand, how will we ever be free of the arbitrary constraints of language unless we purposely break those boundaries? Fuck, that's a conundrum. Maybe gay people could say he was "gay" meaning "not liking him" and also accept the contradiction of the gay squared equation, but the rest of us straight assholes better lay the fuck off for awhile. That seems to follow the convention that the maligned group can use the derogatory word but others do not have that right. Or, like DNA, if we respect everyone equally, then we can call anybody anything we want at anytime, because you know DNA loves you all.