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Monday, September 30, 2013

"One Track Heart," Krishna Das, and Getting Out of Our Own Way

Well, it has been about an hour since I finished watching my DVD copy of "One Track Heart: the Story of Krishna Das." I feel a very strong sense of calm after viewing and listening to his life story, and told in just over 70 minutes.

I am not writing to do a critique of the film, and I am not going to fall over myself in the greatness that is, etc. There's no need.

Here is the trailer...the story of one man who traveled to India and was not planning to come back. A guy whose old band went on to become Blue Oyster Cult. The one who bonded with a guru who didn't want anything but love, because that is what he gave back.

You might have seen Krishna Das' performance at the Grammy Awards. You might have been amused, confused, even bored. The sound wasn't good. Also...calling him a "New Age Rock Star" is bullshit.

KD does address this issue in the film, as he addresses his depression, his drug abuse, and a whole lot more. You see a few people you might recognize, and you see in the concert footage something very few ever get to experience. I have not yet; I hope to.


KD talks about it...he is not singing to anyone but his guru, not to you, me or even himself. It is, as is noted an intimate conversation we are being allowed to listen in on.

I dabble in spiritual things, and I admit it. Buddhism, Wicca and the Indian devotionals, the music known as Kirtan. I mediate to kirtan, among other things, I work out to it, and I don't just listen. I try to let myself go there.

I took one of the traditional chants, "Baba Hanuman" and added my own words to it after watching a documentary. "All One" became one of the simplest songs I've ever written. In my old band Ahltyrra, it was one of our most requested songs. 

There was something about getting everyone on that wavelength, for the six minutes that piece lasts. Sometimes you reach it, sometimes not, but the fact you tried to let yourself go was a big thing.

I saw two old friends today, while traveling about to find a place that would let me use my wifi capability, haha...never found it, and I suppose that was meant because I'd never had gotten to where I did.

My former Zen Master, who I was saddened to see having some health problems. As ever, he remained optimistic and went with it. "Part of the process," he said. True.

Then right after my friend Dharma arrived. Yes, that is her Pagan name. I'd not seen her since sharing the pool at the gym some two years ago. We got caught up, and I started to see some clarity for other things.

In his book, "Chants of a Lifetime," Krishna Das has a chapter called, "The Movie of Me." In the film, I saw some more: it's not about us, it is more about what we do and why we do it.

He also said one of the biggest obstacles in his own life was to get out of his own way.

I have to do the same. Why do I remain in a dying industry? Why do I play music? Moreover, why do I write these books, one of which I'm finally putting out?

Hardly for the money! Would be nice, but not a necessary thing. Just enough would do. Either way, I do these things because I love doing them. Some more than others.

My lesson is to get out of my own way, and continue to answer the question of why am I doing this. 

We let things get in our way, and that becomes the obstacle. We are our own obstacle.

I have to figure out what I'm going to do with the years I have left. I have to make a living, until we figure out how to live without money. I especially do things, but to write, it is what I enjoy and love doing.

I hope that the stories I write get out there, that people are at the very least entertained just a little bit by them. If not, fine.

But I hope they're good enough that people like them, refer to them, think about them, and also see what the characters see: a lot of my characters are unusual, and seem a little extreme at times. Or they're just there. Well, there's a reason for that.

Each person is extreme, non-extreme, or just there. We all are.

I hope to live long enough to see these things come to pass, where people find characters they like and identify with, and then see what they go through. Not much different than you or me...if they can move forward, so can we.

My aim now is to get out of my own way, and let these things occur as they are meant. I'll do what I have to, but beyond that, there is not much else to say but...let us connect.

I reach for that connection when I write, perform, and even open the mic. Not for me, not anymore...I'm just a go-between.

Krishna Das is the vessel...the guru is poured in, or from the other end, you are poured in. One way or the other, there's a meeting there, and a message.

I'll get out of the way now, and see where it goes.

Here's a better version of what they did...if you can't get the vibe of this, I don't know what will do it:


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Release Party Idea, Updates and Other Thoughts

Hello once again...long time, no blog!

I have been away from the blogosphere for some time, because honestly my work has taken up my writing/thinking time. At times, I'll get the urge to blog away about stuff, but now I can offer you some updates to my projects, and an idea that I have.

I want to know what you think...

First of all: "Parasite Girls" is on course for release later this year. We have had to push back the date for a couple of reasons. I decided to change where the book will be released...we will go with Smashwords, because of accessible possibilities in the eBook world, and also because...timely payment.

Until we find a way to live w/o money, that's how it goes.

Second, my cover artist is at WorldCon. He has a showing of his works, and I get that. When he returns, we'll see what we have and roll with it from there.

So the book is in effect ready to go, once we get the cover and fix a few other legal things. 


The Behance site has been really useful and I like it a lot. Graphic artists mostly use this site, but it's working for me. Here, you will find two excerpts of "Parasite Girls," plus bits of "The Drifters" and "Time the Healer."

My radio "Air Check" is here, at the "Radio Tracks" link. So you can hear what I've been doing and sounding like of late.

Atop this, demos of the Dharma Fools, and home recordings of my work. This is where things have become a huge stretch for my skill. Writing songs for the stories, rather than using others.

I have to break myself of it, and I am writing and composing in that vein. 

More and more, the followup to "PG" will be "The Drifters: Tales of the Southern Cross." Two demos are here of songs that will make their way into the storyline, and I hope you find them interesting despite their quality.

Bunch of my Pro Tools stuff is obsolete or only accessible when I was at school. I don't have the money for new "toys" or upgrades right now, but what I have in the toolbox works pretty damned well, I'd say.

So far, that appears to be the one of the reasons I'm writing for the stories is the permissions and mechanical licenses required for using other people's lyrics, etc., can be time consuming and expensive. I will have to do it for some songs, but others I'll have to rewrite and fix. Another stretch and challenge for my skills. Needed too, I'll admit.

I did get a very nice, "Yes" from Amanda Palmer. Through her people, I explained that "Time the Healer" involves a character who is a big fan of her music, and some of her songs just fit into a personal, and unusual individual. It helped drive the story.

Well, she (and her people) said it is okay! Thank you! (Bows)

Will not be for a year or more that the story comes out, but it will be better by that time.

So now, I'm thinking of a book release party. My friend Jim Henry did one recently for his new tome of wit & wisdom via Facebook. I then thought about a step further, and after hearing the radio commercials for years, I realized I might have a way to engage my audience for "Parasite Girls."

I wonder if anyone has experience with -- I think I might give that a shot. The idea I have had for a book, any book is to present it and give people a reason to buy it, if they are not sure, or do not know what they're getting.

Selected readings of passages from the book...questions from the live audience, and also from those who message me perhaps via Facebook. One of my songs is in the story, and the DF's perform it, so we could do that live as well, perhaps during the read of that chapter.

We'll put up the link for everyone to see where they can buy the book, and as I say, questions! I will gladly take them, and talk about the story, what else I'm doing.

I think this might be a good way to engage the audience, even if they only stay for a few minutes, they realize this is more than just a dry eBook lost in the shuffle of millions.

What do YOU think? An idea whose time has come? Have you tried this before? Love to know your opinions on that.

I have time to think about it, and I have time to consider how it would work. But I need someone with said experience. So we'll far a few people like the idea.

So there is SHAMELESS PLUG #2

A reminder that here on Facebook is the hub for all my stuff, music, writings, meanderings, and the links that jump you to OK?


The Dharma Fools will play here at ALCHEMY FOR THE EARTH. This takes place on September 21st and 22nd, at Fairy Fresh Farm in Finksburg, MD. Native American, Pagan and other tracks of spirituality will be here to share, there will be drum circles, and music!

The DF's play on Saturday, at 2 pm. We'll do an hour, and then my bassist Dan Shearer's other project Moxy & Mayhem take the stage at 4. It's gonna be a fine time, and I hope you'll get out to see something unique.

We're excited, clearly so we hope we can do the same and stimulate that. So if you're in the MD area, or outside of it, give it a look.


Now...I have a lot to do, so that's life as I know it at this point! Let me know what you think about things!

Peace, Out.