DANCING WITH CANCER (part 2) – “You Must Do The Thing You Cannot Do”

As described in the ABOUT section of this blog, in 2006 I was confronted with what felt like, at the time, insurmountable odds relative to my survival. Cancer (Cancy Wancy) had again come-a-calling and brought with it a diagnosis similar to the one received back in 2003 – 6 months,  max. (Dancing With Cancer, Part 1 is here).

Some things you write down, a word, a clue, a quote, a statement, and like a raft on a sea you cling to those words, that idea, in much the same way a shipwrecked sailor clings to a point of light on a darkened horizon, as a way forward and a direction home through the fog of long night. I remember always a conversation I had thirty years ago with my friend, the jewelry designer, Esmeralda Gordon.  We were chatting about one thing or another, philosophically speaking, when Ez said to me, “you know, Mr. Dougie, it’s not about survival, it’s about development.  Another friend, Mark Bautzer, chimed in, “that’s right, baby, it’s all about evolution.”

This thought, this idea of survival vs development, or evolution, has served me in such a way as to provide distinction and clarification through times of personal trouble and uncertainty. It has allowed me to move forward into unguarded territory and to surrender myself to the situation at hand, to commit to the effort and embrace the experience of developing an expanded set of tools, a way of thinking, a path of proceeding past the edge of the darkness and beyond the seen into a realm of accepting what unknown lies ahead.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

FOUR, the final album of the FELL MUSIC PROJECT,  is a diary of my second turn on the dance floor with Cancy Wancy.  The final song on FOUR, titled XYZ, relates directly to the above enlightened quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. For me, issues of  survival and development are related not only to an acceptance of my personal situation but to meaningful aspects of personal growth. I would not wish my journey on anyone, nor would I trade it for anything.  Living and dying several times in this one lifetime has provided a unique and extrasensory perspective. Thanks for tuning in.

Doug Lewis
041412

FELL MUSIC – XYZ

XYZ

Been running on the high
Temperature side
Breaking out in wet chills and hot sweats
Skin burns silver, red – too hot to touch
Doctor comes in, light goes down says
You may have a year – What was that sound

When the night falls
You just have to look it in the eye
Like you’re staring down the barrel of a gun
Staring at the sun
And it’s buring you away

Headed through a nigh turn
Driving home, I’m alone and thinking
Trails of taillights snake and burn
Some freeway flashers blinking
Everybody lies – it’s true
But when there’s no one left to lie to
No one left to fool, no one left but you

What’s that sound
When the night falls 

You just have to take it for a ride
Down the center of the other side
Down the center of the middle
And it’s blowing you away

I need someone warm to stay with me
With a kind heart, the gentle touch of someone sweet
I’m alright, I know where the light is
I know the cost, I won’t get lost
I need someone warm to stay with me

What was that sound
You just have to make another start
Somewhere from the center of your heart
Like you’re staring down the barrel of a gun
And it’s blowing you away

DOUG LEWIS

FELL MUSIC


MAYBE LOVE IS MORE FUN – Jamie Cohen and the Venice Arts Club

MAYBE LOVE IS MORE FUN is a lighthearted song from the VENICE ARTS CLUB MUSIC PROJECT.  It is song 1 on volume 1 of the 8 volume set and features JAMIE COHEN, KRISTEN VIGARD and MALIA LUNA. The refrain is, ‘gonna align the stars for you’…

Maybe it’s true, we’re all doing time
Minute by minute, please tell me your sign

All the weather finally got its act together
According to plan – you and I are feeling fine
A new moon, our only witness

Maybe love is more fun

Remember when we were good together
We were tethered to the sun
A nova, your casanova
You are my only one

Maybe love is more fun
Take it from me
(Like lemon with your tea – gonna squeeze the day for you)
Maybe love is more fun 

MAYBE LOVE IS MORE FUN – Venice Arts Club Music Project

JAMIE COHEN

KRISTEN VIGARD

MALIA LUNA

PRODUCED BY VAC


HELLO LIFE – Kristen Vigard and the New White Trash

The song HELLO LIFE is from DOUBLEWIDE, the 37 song, 2-CD release from the NEW WHITE TRASH. The music of the NWT can be heard each week on Michael C. Ruppert’s LIFEBOAT HOUR broadcast every Sunday evening at 9p Eastern on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hello Life features NWT member Kristen Vigard on vocals.  Kristen is also a founding member of the Venice Arts Club. Check out the video for Hello Life

HELLO LIFE – NEW WHITE TRASH

NEW WHITE TRASH – DOUBLEWIDE

NEW WHITE TRASH – MUSIC OF THE POST PARADIGM

PRODUCED BY VAC


FAKE ENLIGHTENMENT – James Mathers and the VAC Music Project

*****

Venice Arts Club member JAMES MATHERS and VAC founder DOUG LEWIS collaborated on FAKE ENLIGHTENMENT with video/graphics editor CIA MAC. 66 illustrations for Fake Enlightenment were created by Mathers during the production and recording of the companion song. Fake Enlightenment appears on Volume 1 (of 8 volumes) of the Venice Arts Club Music project.  Album art for VAC v.1 by Jamie Cohen. Video below the lyrical fold.

Higher senses, other worlds
Hidden dimensions, flying squirrels
What are the qualities of the expanded state
And who said enlightenment is so fricking great

Fake Enlightenment, now only 6.66
Fake enlightenment

Who’s a slave, and who is free
And who don’t lose their crystal key
What’s your means or what’s your method
Hold your breath until you turn blue

How close can you get to the real fake thing
How close can you get to the real fake thing
Before it’s all too true

Throughout all time radiant beings have come
To show us how it’s done
Sometimes we kill them but that’s ok
Another one is born a hundred times a day

Who said enlightenment is so fricking great
Who said enlightenment is so fricking great

You may already be a winner…

FAKE ENLIGHTENMENT – VIDEO

JAMES MATHERS IN IRELAND – Conceived and cast bell for Maria Guinness

FAKE ENLIGHTENMENT – James Mathers storyboard images, oil chalk on black resolution paper

VENICE ARTS CLUB MUSIC PROJECT – Volume 1

PRODUCED BY VAC


ALDEN ART – This Modern Life: Poetry and Image of Alden Marin

Venice Arts Club member ALDEN MARIN is a Los Angeles based artist – a poet, painter and musician who uses ‘remnants found’ to create his art. Marin is a weaver of ideas and tactical substance to form an artistic chronology of his day to day. His music provides enlightened depth to his dimension.
******
THIS MODERN LIFE
You can say
what you want
about my fickle nature
indecisiveness
and uncertainty
about arrival dates
and departure times–
modes of payment,
credit lines;
whether to go with
day’s initial greyness–
or eventual sunshine;
Being enthralled
by birdsong outside
or irritated, in turns
by the same voices–
Hard to concentrate
in this modern life
with so much transpiring
on screens, phones
wireless devices
modes of communication
seen & unseen–owned
or in the frame
of acquisition mode–
everything ringing
with respective needs
And as many opinions
trying to register beliefs…
You can say what you want
about my actions and moods
and it’s probably true, but
I may or may not
agree with you.
ALDEN MARIN – Asparagus
ALDEN MARIN MUSIC – Fade To Blue

CRUDLAND – Jamie Cohen Art and Fixture

CRUDLAND is a manifesto booklet created by Venice CA artist  JAMIE COHEN (1953-2008). In a series of stark collages, Cohen tells the story of a world gone mad with signage, branding, innuendo and immersion into a culture of advertising and excess.  The Crudland manifesto could be understood as Cohen’s ground of being in that all his later work in sculpture, painting, drawing, writing and song could be traced back to Crudland. The theme of Crudland also served as inspiration for the first release from the FELL MUSIC project, appropriately titled, Crudland.  In 1997, Cohen and Fell Music founder Doug Lewis collaborated with L.A. photographer Patricia De La Rosa on a series of photography portraits using the original Cohen sculpture series as the basis for what would become album art for the Fell Music/Crudland project. It is possible that the original Crudland manifesto booklet still exists.  What we do have are the original images taken by De La Rossa of the Jamie Cohen sculpture series known as Crudland.

JAMIE COHEN – Ball with Hat

JAMIE COHEN – Clown

JAMIE COHEN – Bulleted Heart

JAMIE COHEN – Finger This

JAMIE COHEN – Under Lock and Key

JAMIE COHEN – Dogscape

JAMIE COHEN – Colossus of Crudland

JAMIE COHEN – Crudland Man

JAMIE COHEN

DOUG LEWIS, JAMIE COHEN

FELL MUSIC COLLECTION


MUSIC OF THE POST-PARADIGM: American Spring 2012

THE AMERICAN SPRING OF 2012

Liberty hangs in the balance at every moment, never still and always moving to maintain a footing. A nation at a crossroads has historically proven to be a less than pretty sight.  The 21st Century, arriving with the epic and viceral collapse known as 911, has continued a tidal wave of collapse trajectory through the first decade and now, in the year 2012, is taking hold. In America lines have been drawn and distinctions have been made.  Those few with most are drawing their battle plans, hording their riches and seeking to influence those who can change the law do change the law in favor of limitations that restrict democracy, freedom and liberty.  Meanwhile, the many with little have little.  But they do have a name.  They are the 99%.

We are the 99%.

We are men, women, children.  We are doctors, housewives, janitors, war veterans.  We are artists, poets and car mechanics.  We are ranchers, farmers and schoolteachers.  We are mothers, fathers and grandparents. We are journalists, watchkeepers. We are the anonymous and the known. We are everyone, everywhere. We are in America. We are in France and Spain and throughout Europe.  We are in all countries of Africa.  We are the people of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Israel. We are in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, the U.K. We are in every city of every state of every country and we are of every nation. We are the 99%.

The 99% understand how the concept of infinite growth has come and gone, the paradigm exhausted. One is reminded of the only graph used by Michael C. Ruppert in his speeches on Collapse to illustrate the dramatic spike in world population, a trajectory in line with its main and finite ingredient and catalyst, oil. Burn-off from the era of petroleum man is collapsing our ecosystem.

Now on the streets and in the neighborhoods and cities of America we are headed into spring followed by the long, hot days of summer. Crimes are being committed, liberties are being removed and there is a giant contraction taking place fueled by the greed, fear and the arrogance of the few.

Do not go back to sleep.

THE NIGHTCLUB AT THE END OF THE WORLD (NEW)

NEW is a space conceived by Michael C. Ruppert from the cabin of his Lifeboat Hour, a weekly radio show hosted by Ruppert and aired by Progressive Radio Network, Sunday at 9p Eastern. Ruppert points out how NEW and the Lifeboat Hour is not all bad news, that it is an original mix of music with madness, laughter with loss, skills with sorrow, community with calamity, love with grief, and joy in the moment.

Musically speaking, Ruppert is fond of playing cuts from a Venice, CA music project called the New White Trash (NWT), of which Ruppert is a founding member with Wade De Void, Andy Kravitz and others. The theme of the NWT is ‘Music of the Post-Paradigm’. The NWT manifesto reads like this:

Mining a new groove, and with a kind of rough grace, DOUBLEWIDE, the 37 song, 2 CD set from the NEW WHITE TRASH, chronicles the slide of the former American middle-class down a steep and slippery slope to the New White Trash, a place impartial to race, religion, creed or color.

The New White Trash (NWT) demographic is the outcome of the former middle class being folded in with the working poor and, for good measure, the unemployed and uninsured.  The NWT defines and represents a majority of people whose common bond includes and exists beyond the demographics of age, race, location, education. The people of the NWT are the new ‘have-not’s’, and by its nature and size, this vast swath of population (99%) is now squarely at odds with the 1% who own, operate and dispense our corporate universe, big pharma, big food, big oil, big defense and big government included. ‘By the people for the people’ is receding.

The Post-Paradigm Era describes the vacuum left by the sudden disappearance of the former American middle class.  It is in this vacuum we now find ourselves, tumbling in turmoil as home losses mount, bank balances shrink, and shelters are jammed with the likes of you and I. The good old days are done and dusted. That party is over. The coming chaos of the post-paradigm era will lead to a radical and immediate rethinking and remaking of America or it will lead us to complete devastation.

As Woody Guthrie filled a musical vacuum by acknowledging the pain and the suffering of the Great Depression, the New White Trash fills a bigger and more insidious vacuum left by a rampant, programmed consumerism that serves only corporations and their shareholders. 

This is a new breed of American music in which the message is clear: You’re f**ked.  But now what?  

NWT portrays a post-paradigm, ‘less beautiful’ America, brought to life through music, media, theatre and message – those of, love,need and a desire for social justice. ‘Drop it down’, ‘don’t dig too deep’, ‘we charge extra for this’, ‘take these’, ‘we can’t escape from’, all are the language of the NWT.  And for good reason.

If you got no credit and you got no cash, you’re NWT.  If you got more going out than you got coming in, you’re NWT. If your 401k is MIA, if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, if you find yourself living in a trailer or back with your parents, if your unemployment has run out, if your roads have holes and local schools are closing, if you lost your health insurance to a pre-existing condition, you are the NWT. If you bought the hype and borrowed on a dream,and now your house is gone and you’re selling your things, you’re the NWT. If you’re pissed off, yet you keep a sliver of love in your crossed heart and at least a post-ironic smile on your lips, you’re NWT. If what you had is gone – just like that – then you know you’re running with the New White Trash.

 The NWT offers what popular music does not: it recognizes and acknowledges all those who are being marginalized and dropping off the radar screens of “official” life. It is not all depressing. In fact, the NWT celebrates the joys, simple pleasures and love that are often re-discovered only in the darkest times.

NWT was produced by and at the Venice Arts Club. Other music produced by VAC promotes a similar tune and travels a road populated with the familiar themes of the Lifeboat Hour and the NEW. The VAC supports Ruppert’s effort for truth and social justice and gives a nod to his journey and his vision by presenting a gathering of relevant songs from our collection. Thanks for tuning in.

THE NEW WHITE TRASH – ‘It Would Be Strange’

NEW WHITE TRASH – ‘Running With The New White Trash’

FELL MUSIC – ‘Dangerous Ground

FELL MUSIC – ‘American Lite’

FELL MUSIC – ‘Somewhere South’

THE CHEETERS – ‘Bombshell Breakup’