Michael C. Ruppert – Interview – Running With The New White Trash

Interview with Michael C. Ruppert and Mark Baer for SmartChannel.tv. From early 2009, conducted at Venice Arts Club in Venice, CA. Click image to watch video.

 

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Mike Ruppert – Running With The New White Trash


Michael C. Ruppert and the New White Trash – ‘Beyond The Rubicon’

After considering the future of the New White Trash relative to the passing of bandmate and friend MICHAEL C. RUPPERT, we are moving forward with plans to record and release a third and final NWT album titled BEYOND THE RUBICON (BTR) to include unreleased material featuring Ruppert from the DOUBLEWIDE and AGE OF AUTHORITY sessions, as well as new songs written while Mike was housing with bandmate DOUG LEWIS at Red Cloud Ranch in southern Colorado. Our focus, as always, will be on releasing material relative to the original NWT manifesto – matters of head and heart, war and peace, love, longing, and social commentary/protest torn from the pages of tomorrow’s news.

Beyond The Rubicon will complete the trilogy begun in 2009 at the Venice Arts Club in Venice, California. Along with Lewis, original NWT band members Kristen Vigard and Andy ‘AK’ Kravitz will be deep in the mix. In order to fund the project, our intention is a word of mouth campaign geared towards raising enough funds to appropriately record, produce, mix and master this final NWT album, dedicated to the life, work and memory of Mike Ruppert. Outside funding will be essential – we cannot begin this project without you lovely people – fans of Ruppert and the NWT. Our fund-raising strategy will be made public once we’ve settled on a course of action, either through a Kickstarter style campaign or by releasing one song on the NWT Bandcamp site and asking for double and triple digit payments for that one song to go towards BTR.

In the meantime, those inclined to immediately begin to move this project forward can purchase an electronic download of Doublewide and/or Age Of Authority.  Leave a short message indicating that your payment should go towards BTR.  Anyone doing so will in return receive a gratis copy – via electronic download – of Beyond The Rubicon before its official release.

RIP MCR

BEYOND THE RUBICON

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Mike Ruppert

Michael C. Ruppert @ VAC

MCR & Doug Lewis

Wade Cross3

Andy ‘AK’ Kravitz

Phil De Void

Kristen Vigard

KV

RIP MCR
NWT.RIP.MCR

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MUSIC OF THE POST-PARADIGM – The New White Trash and the Age Of Authority

AGE OF AUTHORITY from the NEW WHITE TRASH arrives 07.07.13

New White Trash - Age Of Authority

New White Trash – Age Of Authority


AGE OF AUTHORITY – The New White Trash and ‘Music of the Post-Paradigm’, Volume II

Rough mixes of selected songs from AGE OF AUTHORITY have been playing for the past eight weeks on the LIFEBOAT HOUR, a weekly one-hour radio show hosted by MICHAEL C. RUPPERT on the Progressive Radio Network.  Ruppert, former cop turned whistleblower, author of Crossing The Rubicon who was also featured in the documentary, Collapse, calls his show, “a nightclub at the end of the world”. The NEW WHITE TRASH is in heavy rotation, and for good reason.  Ruppert, along with Venice, CA music producer and Venice Arts Club host Doug E. Lewis, formed the NWT in 2009, soon after they met over dogs at a local Venice dog park. According to Ruppert, “our dogs bonded and so did we”. Meeting Lewis allowed Ruppert to return to his roots as a singer and fulfill his dream of making music.

The result of their collaboration was released January 11, 2011. Recorded at VENICE ARTS CLUB, the album DOUBLEWIDE, a 37 song 2 CD set features a host of Venice locals including multi-instrumentalist and musical activist Wade DeVoid, former Broadway and Soap star, Kristen Vigard, artist and Warhol protege James Mathers, drummer/programmer Andy Kravitz, guitarist Michael Jost, former Shadowfax bass player Phil Maggini, among others.

Next up for the NWT is AGE OF AUTHORITY, due out July 7, 2013. Recorded over the 2012-13 winter at Lewis’ new facility – RED CLOUD RANCH AND RECORDING STUDIO – located in Moffat, CO, at the base of the Sangre De Cristo range in Southern Colorado, Age Of Authority is 18 new compositions from a this time smaller ensemble of players, including Ruppert, Lewis, DeVoid, Mathers, Vigard and with bass guitar contributions from former Frank Zappa bass player, Arthur Barrow.

Says Lewis, “Out here in Southern Colorado though we’re pretty much on the lone prairie, our goal was to make music in a ‘Venice Arts Club’ kind of way, meaning to involve the locals, to find whomever was into making  music and had a desire to sing or play to come on down and step up to the mic. So we found some amazing talent in the town of Crestone, located about twenty miles from my place…just down the road.  Turns out Lea Petmezas, who we met through James Mathers, is a gifted singer, as is Jessica Holopeter.  We enlisted JeseRe Pulver on flute and also ‘Diamond’ Dave Steele, who contributed some acoustic guitar tracks.”

Kristen Vigard, who  now calls Taos, NM, home and has been making music with Lewis for twenty years, spent the better part of the three month recording process driving back and forth from Taos through sometimes wicked winter weather, explains that, “…it was totally worth it.  Anytime I have an opportunity to record with Dougie, I’ll take it.  We’ve been doing this a long time together, him and I. He knows how to make a record and have fun doing it.”

Ruppert agrees, and adds, “making this album was endearing but also enduring because, unlike being in Venice at the VAC with the back doors open and the fire pit flaming and lots of people milling and chilling, out at Red Cloud in Colorado we had a much more isolated and harsh environment – extreme cold made it difficult to remain outside for longer than a few minutes, so it was the group of us spending most of our time inside focused on the tunes. But what a great process it is to work on songs, writing lyrics and rehearsing parts…I love it!”

As a theme, Age Of Authority is a coherent followup to Doublewide. Lewis and Ruppert established early on, by way of manifesto, a musical activism built on social commentary combined with equal part exploration of heart, told primarily through a series of cautionary tales…love, loss, joy, sorrow.

Pre-release copies of Age Of Authority are available for review to music bloggers and music zines. Please contact: BillyBollocks@mac.com

Thanks for tuning in.

NWT Age of A Cover

NEW WHITE TRASH – Age Of Authority

MIchael C. Ruppert and Doug E. Lewis

MIchael C. Ruppert and Doug E. Lewis

Music producer Doug E. Lewis

Music producer Doug E. Lewis

Michael C. Ruppert still from the film, Collapse

KV smile

Kristen Vigard

James Mathers

James Mathers

Doug E. Lewis

Doug E. Lewis

Lea P

Colorado artist Lea Petmezas

Age Of Authority - Long Cold Winter

Age Of Authority – Long Cold Winter

Age Of Authority - Dirty Love

Age Of Authority – Dirty LoveAge Of Authority - Heart On My Sleeve

Age Of Authority – Heart On My Sleeve
Age Of Authority - Foreign Soldiers

Age Of Authority – Foreign Soldiers

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‘House Of The Rising Sun’ Revisited – ‘New Orleans’ by the Fell Music Project.

A version of HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, titled NEW ORLEANS, by the FELL MUSIC PROJECT, produced by Frank Zappa alumni Arthur Barrow at Lotek Studios in Venice, CA.

 

 

VAC GRAPHIC BUTTON


AVALANCHE & EARTHQUAKE – Michael C. Ruppert and the New White Trash

As theme songs go, AVALANCHE & EARTHQUAKE by the NEW WHITE TRASH is a good choice. Produced by Doug E. Lewis, A&E is the theme song for the LIFEBOAT HOUR, broadcast Sunday evening at 9p Eastern over the Progressive Radio Network.  

Hosted by former cop turned whistleblower turned journalist/activist turned radio and film person Michael C. Ruppert, a theme of the Lifeboat Hour is ‘a nightclub at the end of the world’.  

Ruppert loves music and he loves the New White Trash, the Venice, CA music project he founded in 2009 with veteran Venice musician and producer Doug E Lewis, multi-instrumetalist Wade DeVoid, drummer Andy Kravitz, singer Kristen Vigard, guitarist Michael Jost, multi-media artist James Mathers, and others.

The outcome was DOUBLEWIDE, the debut album from the NWT, released January 11, 2011 as a 37-song, 2 CD set. Avalanche & Earthquake, from disc one, features two dogs, Rags Ruppert and Squishy Lewis. Ruppert explains how he sees the video as a sort of tribute, in that, “Dougie Lewis and I met through our dogs, at a dog park in Venice, CA. If it wasn’t for the dogs, I can’t imagine how I would have ever had the opportunity to fulfill a deeply personal dream to play and record music.”

NWT musician and songwriter Wade DeVoid explains how Avalanche & Earthquake is an underlying theme of the band and its music, “We call our brand of song, ‘music of the post-paradigm’, it’s a sensibility shared amongst all of us, that we’re in it to play well-crafted songs which (often) combine elements of social commentary and music activism. Equally though, our songs are about matters of love and heart, leaps and losses, cautionary tales, in essence”

NOTE: The NWT is releasing their second album, THE INNER REACH on July 7, 2013. Selected tracks from The Inner Reach are currently being premiered week to week on the Lifeboat Hour.

Check out the video for A&E or listen to the song here.

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NEW WHITE TRASH and the Music Of The Post-Paradigm, Volume II – The Inner Reach

NWT The Inner Reach Cover alt

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NWT logo sticker

 

NOTE: The working title/name of the second release from the New White Trash has been changed from The Inner Reach to AGE OF AUTHORITY.  See newer posts for more information. (Updated May 27, 2013)

Since releasing DOUBLEWIDE on January 11, 2011, the members of the New White Trash went their separate ways.

Released on January 11 of 2011, DOUBLEWIDE, the 37 song, double CD release from the Venice, CA music project known as the New White Trash continues to attract listeners in large part to it’s continuous airplay on THE LIFEBOAT HOUR, a one-hour weekly radio show broadcast over the Progressive Radio Network and hosted by ‘uber-activist, former cop turned whistleblower turned journalist and radio/film person of interest, Michael C. Ruppert. Other members of the NWT include Kristen Vigard, known for her background singing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and also for her early career on Broadway as the original Annie then later as soap star Morgan Richards on the Guiding Light. Multi-instrumentalist Wade DeVoid adds the multi-instrument music magic.

According to Venice music producer, Doug E. Lewis, who produced Doublewide at the Venice Arts Club, there were no plans to make another NWT record. Here’s how he tells it…

“What happened is that back in April of 2010, after the recording of Doublewide had finished, Mike (Ruppert) moved from Venice to Sebastapol. Around that same time Kristen moved from LA with her daughter Emily to Taos, NM for work, schools, etc. Wade had film and music work in Europe so he was gone. Then over the summer of 2011, I got the itch to get out of LA so I retreated to my ‘ranch’ property in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, a place I call Red Cloud Ranch & Recording Studio. Then in July I got a call from Wade who, before leaving LA, recorded with me a dozen bass tracks for possible future material. And so he calls to say he’s been working with the material and thought how a second NWT album would be a good idea. I had been in touch with Kristen, of course, who being in Taos was only 4 hours south of me. A few days later Mike called to say he’d been researching my area here in the San Luis Valley and decided a move was in the making, which he made a couple of months later. That’s basically how it happened. Wade showed up and we did what we do, which is basically live together and make a record. Ups, downs, highs and lows, it/they all go into the music.

“We began recording November 22nd, 2012 and finished recording February 22, 2013. Since then I’ve gone ahead and added some instrumentation, background vocals, etc. Then I took an ear break of about a month and have been mixing the tracks. A handful have been mixed by Bob Rice, who has also added some instrumentation. Also we’ve been fortunate to have the great and amazing Arthur Barrow (Zappa) play bass on several of the tracks.

“The title for this body of work, THE INNER REACH, came fairly early as a line out of the song of the same name. I’d been kicking around the lyrics for decades, and had even tried recording the song once before but was never happy with it. Originally the lyrics were named ‘Harlem Holiday’ but all that changed, as songs tend to do. This new material is very much in keeping with the NWT vibe and theme – music of the post-paradigm – and also with the NWT manifesto, which Mike and I drew up to address the urgency for a robust and vocal social commentary and music activism.

“I’m really pleased with the vibe of this record. With the dust settled, we have 22 tracks of which 16-17 will make up the album. Musically and lyrically, Inner Reach picks up where Doublewide left off; it’s two years on and it feels that, while humanity may be striving and yearning for ever higher levels of consciousness and awareness, an argument can be made that we have more fully entered the ‘age of authority’. So much of the material on The Inner Reach deals with this post-paradigm shift away from the ‘age of enlightenment’ towards an uneasy, dishonest age of authority. It’s the never-ending slippery slope as described in the NWT manifesto.

“But The Inner Reach also deals with what I call the ‘two sides of one heart’ – Love, War and the politics of both. That line, two sides of one heart’ is from Drifted, one of the new songs on this album sung by Kristen with Mike singing background and also the bridge which goes, “Curse this bloody place I watched/My sail turn to dust/My rudder turn to rust/My compass spin and stop/At a point where I could not.

“I see and hear The Inner Reach as an engaging body of work and typical of a shared sensibility between myself, Mike, Kristen and Wade. There are other contributors also , and we have been fortunate to find amazing talent in the nearby hipster town of Crestone. Jessica Holopeter contributed amazing background vocals, as did Lea Petmezas and JeseRa Pulver, who also played flute. Also Dave Steele on guitar. We were also really fortunate to have another NWT founding member, James Mathers, make an appearance and contribute lyrics to the song, Mad Forgetter.

“As a producer, this kind of music making, what I call ‘community music making’, is central to my creative process. Providing an opportunity for people to contribute, irregardless of their musical stature, pro, amateur or otherwise, is really at the heart of it for me. It basically a situation where what applies most is ‘leave your ego at the door and step up to the mic’. It’s not for everybody, this particular type of process, but it does yield creative results while providing a platform for people to feel a part of.

Currently, the songs from The Inner Reach are being premiered on The Lifeboat Hour. The album is due for official release on July 7, 2013, at which time, like Doublewide, a physical package and a sponsorship package will be available.


MELTDOWN – Music of the Post-Paradigm with the New White Trash

MELTDOWN – Music of the Post-Paradigm with the New White Trash

The LIFEBOAT HOUR, hosted by MICHAEL RUPPERT and broadcast over the PROGRESSIVE RADIO NETWORK, is ranked as one of the top five internet radio shows. It’s no secret the mainstream media is losing stream; listener share is dropping fast as the 99% seek new and proven alternative sources of news, information and entertainment. Ruppert, who is also a founding member of the Venice, CA based music project known as the NEW WHITE TRASH, refers to the Lifeboat Hour as ‘a nightclub at the end of the world’, in that a healthy mix of music is included alongside those enlightened guests whose research, views, and opinions are now the mainstream.

Ruppert launches each week of the Lifeboat Hour with AVALANCHE & EARTHQUAKE, his theme song, one of 37 originals found on DOUBLEWIDE, the debut release from the New White Trash. For the show airing April 22, 2012, the song of the week was SACRED SOUND by the amazing Diane Patterson, from the album World Awake, available through her website.  Ruppert also queued up MELTDOWN from Doublewide, a song whose lyrics illustrate the fall 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.

This from the NWT manifesto: The New White Trash 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’, ‘meltdown’, all are the language of the NWT.  And for good reason.

Meltdown/lyrics excerpt:

You only wish you could take the money and run 
Cash it all in for some fun in the sun 
But the bailout came and left you blind 
Now the taxman’s comin for your behind

The New White Trash is your new face 
Fallen from the middle and you’re facing a hard race 
Sock it to me baby, and you can’t win 
Got more goin out than you got coming in 
Everything you know is looking like a lie 
You only want to work and not one bite 
Now you’re selling something 
For cash on the side 
You’re the New White Trash and you can’t hide 

The New White Trash is your new line 
Ain’t no doubt about it, you’re losing big time 
When everything was good, it all turned bad 
You’re the New White Trash and you’ve been had 

All the news is fresh from the TV set 
You’re the New White Trash, that’s what you’ll get 
Being played like a fish made to jump 
You’re the New White Trash 
And it’s coming round to nothing for you 
And you’re sunk

MELTDOWN – THE NEW WHITE TRASH

THE LIFEBOAT HOUR with MICHAEL RUPPERT
 

DOUBLEWIDE – NEW WHITE TRASH

NEW WHITE TRASH – Music of the Post-Paradigm


DOCUMENT THIS! – Cara Tompkins and the VAC

Photographer and visual artist Cara Tompkins documents all aspects of life at the Venice Arts Club.  Her images bring the scene to life and serve as reminders of what was, what is and what will always be, historically speaking, when it comes to remembrance, recognition and the telling of the tale and the involvement of who, what and when.

Cara’s recent career move to Vancouver has left a hole in our collective heart, but her talent and work with the VAC will live on. Cara not only documented the many people, events and happenings that poured through the VAC, she is responsible for the cool graphics, logo’s and packaging that make up so many of the recent VAC projects including the NEW WHITE TRASH, VAC MUSIC, GUNTER VILE, THE CHEETERS, and ALDEN MARIN MUSIC.

And in the spirit of true creativity, Cara refused to be limited by her visual talent; as a founding member of the New White Trash (with Wade De Void, Michael Ruppert, Kristen Vigard, Malia Luna, James Mathers and Andy Kravitz), when it came time to step up to the mic, Cara stepped up to the mic and let herself flow into the music leaving her mark on such songs as Train To Paris, One Good Reason, and Lu Lu Lemons among many. Have a look and listen to Lu Lu Lemons, dedicated to Cara Tompkins, and check out her work at Extraordinary World Creations.

NEW WHITE TRASH – LU LU LEMONS
dedicated to Cara Tompkins

 

CARA TOMPKINS

VAC IMAGES by CARA TOMPKINS
Wade De Void

Malia Luna & Bailey Rye

Alden Marin

Mike Ruppert & Wade De Void of the New White Trash

Acoustic Backyard at the VAC


AVALANCHE AND EARTHQUAKE – Michael Ruppert and the Lifeboat Hour

The LIFEBOAT HOUR, hosted by Michael Ruppert, is now one of the top rated shows on internet radio. Broadcast over the Progressive Radio Network, the Lifeboat Hour can be heard live Sunday evenings at 9pm Eastern. The subtext for the Lifeboat Hour is ‘A Nightclub At The End Of The World’, a theme Ruppert developed due to his love of fresh, relevant music. As many listeners know, Ruppert is a founding member of the New White Trash (NWT), a music project from Venice, CA.  Other members include Wade De Void, Kristen Vigard, Andy Kravitz, Cara Tompkins, Malia Luna, Michael Jost, Robit Hairman, Phil Maggini. DOUBLEWIDE, the 37 song, double CD debut release from the NWT 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. Since its release on January 11, 2011, Doublewide, dubbed ‘music of the post-paradigm’, has sold thousands of copies (independently of any record company) to listeners and fans around the globe.

For the show airing, Sunday, April 15 2012, Ruppert chose to play AVALANCHE AND EARTHQUAKE, a song from disc 1 of Doublewide. A&E is also Ruppert’s theme song for the show and is heard each week at the top of the show, as an introduction to the hour. The video for Avalanche & Earthquake features two of the Venice Arts Club mascots, the dogs Rags and Squishy at play in the VAC studio.  Enjoy Avalanche & Earthquake.  NOTE: the version of the song as it is heard on the video is a slightly different version than what appears on the final release. Doublewide is available here.  Thanks for tuning in!

NEW WHITE TRASH – Avalanche & Earthquake

NWT co-founder Mike Ruppert in the VAC Studio. Image/Cara Tompkins

NWT founders Mike Ruppert and Wade De Void. Image/Cara Tompkins

NWT/VAC Mascots RAGS and SQUISHY. Image/Cara Tompkins

NEW WHITE TRASH


DANCING WITH CANCER (part 3): The Kindness of Strangers – Mel Gibson at the VAC

This is part 3 in an ongoing series titled Dancing With Cancer. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. The introduction to this series and to this blog is available here.

It was mid-December, 2009 when Mel Gibson and his then girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva knocked on the door of the Venice Arts Club in Venice, CA. Mel had heard about the VAC through Michael Ruppert, a regular at the VAC and a founding member of the New White Trash, one of several music projects produced by the VAC. Being a Sunday evening, it was a slow night, with perhaps only a half-dozen people in the studio. I answered the door, greeted Mel and Oxana then ushered them through the studio and into the backyard where a fire was blazing in the outdoor firepit.

I can tell much about people according to how they react to the VAC dogs, especially to Squishy, a pit bull with a poker face.  It’s typical of Squishy to wait until the other dogs have made their introductions before coming around and introducing himself.  His big mug can be intimidating, and on more than one occasion someone visiting the VAC has refused to enter, simply because of catching sight of Squishy.  This was not the case with Mel, who, upon spotting Squishy, let out a big chuckle and made his way over and introduced himself to the Squish.

It was a great start to a fun evening, all of us sitting around the fire, telling stories, playing music. Oksana explained how she was looking to re-mix a track off of her recently released album, Beautiful Heartache, and would the VAC be interested in the project?  In getting to know Mel, it turned out we had both lived in the same area of Sydney (Paddington) at the same time back in the late 70’s.  I mentioned Zelda the ‘cat lady’ and he knew exactly who I was speaking of.  Small world. Mel took a genuine interest in the years I spent fishing on the Great Barrier Reef, turned out his love of Australia was equal to mine.

Somehow Mel and I got on to speaking about my bouts with cancer.  When I told him I had twice been given 6 months to live and had pulled through on both occasions, he let out a low whistle, put his arm on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and just kind of nodded his head.  And that was that, no more was said about it.

A short while later Venice guitar god Michael Jost showed up, unpacked his axe and played for all of us.  Fortunately, mix-guru Andy Kravitz was in the house, at the board, and was able to capture the moment.  From that, CAMPFIRE SONG was born and now appears on Volume 6 of the VAC MUSIC PROJECT. Mel makes a cameo appearance at the end of the song with some words of praise for Jost’s playing. Around about midnight, Mel and Oksana said their goodbyes and drove off. And so ended another evening at the VAC.

The next morning around 10am my phone rang from a number I didn’t recognize. I answered and said hello.
“Doug, it’s Mel.  Thanks for last night. How are you?”
“Mel? Fine, how’s everything?”  My mind was racing; having figured that he or Oksana had left something behind I walked outside to check the grounds for anything stray or out of place. “What’s up?” I asked.
“Doug, I want you to come up to my house, there’s some people I want you to meet.” Mel asked if I could make it the next day. I said yes, he gave me the address and said see you then.

I spent the rest of that day thinking, WTF? My first thought was that I had mentioned to him about an Australian writer he had never heard of and that he wanted more info.  So the next day, armed with that writers book, I drove up to Malibu and found his house.  Mel greeted me at the front door, gave me a bear hug and invited me in. He then introduced me to his family, who were there for the holidays, including his kids, his sister and  his father.  Mel then ushered me into another room where a team of health care practitioners were waiting to discuss my health/cancer concerns and offer advice and information on various forms of treatment.  After a while, Mel stuck his head in and asked me if I was hungry.  I said sure. He went into his kitchen and proceeded to make me a sandwich which he brought on a tray with an iced tea!

This went on for several days, each day I would meet with experts in the field of health and healing, all of whom had insightful information  about treating cancer and maintaining my health. And each day Mel would offer me whatever it was I wanted in the way of food and drink.

In the end I realized there was no motive to Mel Gibson’s generosity, he was simply doing what he was able for someone in need of what he had to offer through what he could arrange.  His cause for concern followed by his acts of kindness were genuine and touching and real.  I am sorry to hear about his ongoing troubles.  The Mel Gibson I know has a heart as big as a house and a warm and generous spirit geared towards sharing light and love.

Doug Lewis
April 16, 2012

CAMPFIRE SONG – Venice Arts Club Music Project

VAC BACKYARD  Image by Cara Tompkins

MICHAEL JOST at VAC  Image by Cara Tompkins

SQUISHY!

SQUISHY.2  Image by Cara Tompkins

DOUG LEWIS  Image by Malia Luna

 DL AND SQUISHY  Image by Cara Tompkins


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


PARALYZE ME – Mainstream Media and the Tower of Babel

TOWER OF BABEL, an installation by Iranian artist GORAN HASSANPOUR is an apt companion piece to PARALYZE ME, a social-commentary song from Volume 3 of Venice Arts Club Music. Born in Kurdistan, Iran in 1977, Hassanpour now lives and works in Goteborg, Sweden. Paralyze Me, produced by VAC founder Doug Lewis, also features VAC regular Malia Luna.

Paralyze Me

More of the same here – TV man is acting strange
Prime time in the evening, the host is screaming
His propaganda reeling, stacked up to the ceiling
Paralyze me – don’t paralyze me

Headline commentator – she scratches like a cat in heat
Her glass eye gleaming for the camera
Her plastic parts heaving to feed the daily beast
Paralyze me – don’t paralyze me 

PARALYZE ME, Venice Arts Club Music Project

 

 TOWER OF BABEL, installation by Goran Hassanpour

Produced by VAC


BLACK FRIDAY – Another Kid With A Gun

ANOTHER KID WITH A GUN is from VENICE ARTS CLUB MUSIC PROJECT, Volume 3. Features Michael Jost, Malia Luna, Spring Groove. Produced by VAC.

Cops in a frenzy shoot a man in the back at least 45 times
They said he had a gun – turns out they were lying
A witness to the crime took the mess to the internet
What kind of world do you want to live in, really?

Another kid with a gun…

VAC MUSIC – ‘Another Kid With A Gun’

 

Produced by VAC


WHAT REMAINS – Good Friday with Fell Music and the VAC

WHAT REMAINS is a song from FELL MUSIC, VOLUME ONE

Jesus was a Capricorn
Jesus didn’t live too long
Jesus was a radical
Jesus died in April, hanging…
Have you?

East of Eden, what remains
Long shadows…a void
And with the sun undone
The muse plays another
Song to the man on the hill
Mother Mary please comfort me I’m ill
My father, my god, what have you done
Mother Mary, where’s that light coming from?

FELL MUSIC – ‘What Remains’


THE LIFEBOAT HOUR – Michael C. Ruppert and the Post-Paradigm Era

Venice Arts Club member and New White Trash founding member Michael C. Ruppert hosts the LIFEBOAT HOUR tonight at 9pm Eastern over Progressive Radio Network (PRN). Voted most popular show on PRN, Mike’s guest tonight is Derrick Jensen. Tuning in is strongly advised.


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


AMERICAN LITE – Music of the Post-Paradigm

From FELL MUSIC, Volume One. Recorded at Lotek Studios, Venice CA. The saga of AMERICAN LITE is perfectly illustrated by this piece of wall-art.  Scroll down for video.

AMERICAN LITE

Ready or not, here we go
On demand, the future’s here
On the money, we’re right on track
Are you ready for years of fear

God, Country, War, Money
Burn down the barn to kill off the rat
Accident, incident, another loose coincidence
Throw out the baby to save the bath

Like it or not, all aboard
Men in suits meet the sailor’s whore
There’s a lizard with a slithering tongue
His friend the snake is from the uppermost rung

They’re salivating, waiting in line
For their turn with the whore divine
Torch burning bright, she pays the rent
The blinds are drawn for money well spent

Good news, it’s fair to say
Future’s here where the road gives way
In the fog a sign illuminates
Red light flashing in the night

Return your seatback to the upright position
Fasten your belt for the head on collision
Go ahead and scream but please don’t make a sound
This Friday fish dinner looks like bloody ground round

Grab some bread and run for cover cries a warning
Could be a nasty change coming like a hurricane
Captain and the First Mate staring out across the wake
Of an angry sea
Passengers are getting worried, looking out beyond the break
Not sure what they see

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

FELL MUSIC – American Lite

FELL MUSIC COLLECTION
 

PHILOMENE LONG – Poet of Venice, CA

Philomene Long – Poet of Venice, CA.


CECI N’EST PAS PARIS – Alden Marin

CECI N’EST PAS PARIS

At twilight, we saw Paris

at Rose and Lincoln

in his red Mustang, turning left–

across from the Tasty Goody

but he wasn’t savoring

their famous Yang Chow rice

or garlic chicken just yet;

artfully puffing a cigarette

looking to the western sky–

preoccupied with the appearance

of Venus and Mars, their nearness

undoubtedly–with his window down

and one arm out–he also sees

the last lavender from the setting sun at seven

and considers purple & magenta

perfect colors for his next work

about cherubic, smiling children…

or a surrealist trompe l’oeil

at the elegant restaurant

that trusts him with its walls–

the look he imparts of time and life—

of croissants, eggs and the

Magritte pipe—“Ceci n’est pas Paris…”

at Rose and Lincoln–

but yes, it is–

before he disappears, like Houdini might

into Venice–with his enigmatic smile;

a world of paint—

and compelling images on his mind….

Alden Marin ‘Counting’, pen on paper 6″x6″, 2011


CARA TOMPKINS – Life Through My Eyes

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