Imaginary Puppet Theatre Set Design Sketch

Its All Falling into Place for This Weekends Photo Shoot

Today I have a song experiment – this is a version where I played guitar, bass, piano, lap steel and mandolin:

And here is just the guitar – which is the instrument I used to write the song:

Just the guitar

Wow – adding the other instruments changed the song to a point where it sounds just like another song I wrote a while back. Verrrry interesting – and something I just learned about writing, playing and arranging. It also reminds me why taking a really roughed in song to a band to arrange could be the better way to go – at least in some cases, and depending on how good the players are.

Cool beans . . .

My favorite part of these photo shoots is the set design and build. I have everything ready for #4 in the 666 Halloween Series. Today I finished the bookshelves and I built a small table to go next to Ol’ Chrome Domes high back chair.

Spectral Orb

This Man Can’t Get The Shelves Installed in His Ikea Bookshelves

What does Sussex County, Spectral Orb and Ikea have in common? That’s right, nothing.

Today I did upholster “ol’ Chrome Domes” high back chair and also finished the two bookshelves.

His Chromium Dome
Reflects the moonlight
Like a Spectral Orb
In the middle of the night

A ghastly site
His hairless head
Scares many a child
You'd think he was Dead

He's not a clown
But something far worse
His old beat up car
Is a dusty old Hearse

He offers the children
A one way ride
To the cemetery
Where they can't hide

Its only a nightmare
Puppets aren't real
Except politicians
Who grift, lie and steal

Stay tuned for this weekends fourth installment of the 666 Halloween series.

Haunted Harvest Moon

Happy Autumn!

Well, today is the first day of my favorite season. Last year was a total disaster and write off. Autumn was all but ruined by both the smoke from the fires, Covid, and the biggest asshole I’ve ever experienced – Dirtbag Trump. That year of politics running up to and even past the election was a total dumpster fire.

This year we were spared all of last years woe, and its been replaced by great weather, nice fall colors (already) and fun with my art and photography. My new job is better than the last .

Besides having big Halloween fun, I’ll be sure to celebrate Thanksgiving big time. I guess there is one thing about bad times, things can only get better, and man, what a difference a year makes.

Go look at that big Harvest Moon. Its beautiful.

The (spineless) Protagonist

Our Protagonist Needs a Chair (and a spine)

Today was great for a Monday. I was lamenting the end of the weekend late yesterday (my weekends are as close to perfect as you can get). But work was great today. Crazy how I still like work after 40 years in I.T. Guess I chose the right career!

Set Design for This Weekends Photo Shoot

OK, ol’ “Floppy Disk” needs a spine so he can sit in this chair (well, start of what will become a chair).

He will be the star of the next installment of the 666 Series. Stay in tune, er tubed, er tuned…..

Halloween 666 Series: Part 3 – The Death of Radio

When I thought about The Raven and quite a few poems and stories that Poe wrote where he suffers the loss of his young wife, I asked myself if I have lamented anything like that in my life. The answer is luckily, no. My relatives who passed lived a good life and a full life – so while sad, it felt natural and normal. I know from experience – when a young persons life is cut short that that is a much different story.

On a much lesser scale, there are era’s in my life that are over – which caused a wee bit of mourning on my part. The Era of Radio is one of them. Sure, it’s only a thing, and only technology I suppose – but it’s kind of interesting how important radio was in my life. It had serious social component that some young people have never or will ever experience. So – I guess I am lucky I got to experience radio as I did.

Today’s Imaginary Puppet Theater show highlights the death of radio coupled with Raoul Hausmanns 1918 Dada work, “The Spirit of Our Age”. He lamented post WWI technology and that senseless war. He lamented how the killing machines (tanks and mustard gas) plus war sparked by greedy capitalism seemed to dehumanize making people just a number.

The Full Cast

I’d argue that Social Media is our eras “Soft Killing Machine”. It didn’t cause the Idiocracy we are experiencing in the US, but it sure enabled losers to have a voice and make a continued concerted effort to ruin the (arguably) greatest democracy the earth has seen.

Our Focus Today is on the Ghostorola Radio . . .
Tuner Head with Implied Tubes
Our Favorite Witch Emcee Introduces Our Singer
Singin’ The Blues
Our Sound Man is Pleased With What He Hears
The Raven Himself
There’s Room for Everyone and Everything!
Your Usher for Tonight’s Show
Radio: Gone, But Not Forgotten

Ghostorola

The Ghostess in the Machine

Tomorrow will be an exciting day in the Imaginary Puppet Theatre. Photo shoot number three in the 666 series will go down. Be There or be square.

Ghostorola (shown above) will be a central character in the “show”. She’s a real beauty.

The theme will be The Death of Radio. I’ve recently come around to the thought that like a human, things also have a planned obsolescence. While my love of radio surpasses almost any thing (emphasis on thing), there are some parallels to changes I’ve made in my hobbies. With a surprise!

While I got out of Ham Radio for good over a year ago, I got back into music, and have been loving my lap steel. Full circle happened – the Lap Steel and pickups were invented by a Ham Radio Operator. The Lap Steel was the predecessor to the electric guitar. One of many interesting characters was Alvino Rey. Google him. There are several others. Electro magnetic experimenters.

Commercial Radio was proceeded by Hams goofing around on the air, some playing music. KDKA in Pittsburgh was supposedly the first commercial radio station, and it fired up in 1922, the year my father was born.

I’m feeling the connections between the Dada artists in 1918 – post WWI and their pandemic and ours. My grandparents immigrated from Stuttgart to Newark, NJ in 1926. Radio started in 1922, and the Dada sentiment that the mechanization led to a depersonalization of the community. In our time, we mirror that with Reality TV (The Apprentice) who spawned the worst president ever. Virtual Communities. Now how bizarre is that? Fake news – even worse “Fake Reality”. Irony nested in layers like a Russian Doll.

But Social Media is our Age of Mechanization in a way. That and Drones killing civilians and geez, its a LOT more like 100 Years Ago than I had expected. Social Media seems like the death of human interaction in the flesh.

Twitter and Facebook are Mustard Gas.

Hmmmmmmmm.

R.I.P. Radio

Video Killed The Radio Star and The Internet Disposed of the Body

The movie “Contact” was both good – and bad, but most of it was good. I especially liked the opening scene where Radio and TV signals were travelling out into outer space – to be heard by aliens I suppose. They were from every decade since radio was invented – but more so commercial radio.

When I was a kid there still was music even on AM radio, but FM was where the cool kids hung out. AM had local news and I remember listening to WHO from Des Moines and “The Farm Report” and WSM and The Grande Ol’ Opry. FM had “album rock” which was great.

I know FM was still good through the 80’s, but with syndication, talk radio and then even MTV switching to “reality shows”, that was it. Radio, and even TV as we knew it was strangled and left for dead. I think in the 90’s.

Luckily, College and some PBS stations kept a very thin candle burning.

From 2001 – 2016 I relived what was the absolute last gasp of my personal radio romance. It was fun and I’m so thankful I squeezed every last drop out of my Ham Radio hobby.

YouTube and Satellite Radio is excellent for finding new music and internet “radio” has way more selection than AM or FM, but there was that indescribable “charm”.

Anyway, tomorrow – or Sunday – I have another photo shoot lined up – the third in the 666 series. The theme is a Halloween inspired theme, where the spooky headstone is for Radio.

Homage a Raoul Hausmann

This Beauty Will Be Adorned Hausmann Style Soon

This balsa wood beauty arrived today and while it was kind of cool, it didn’t have enough contour and the painted on eyes and eyebrows were lackluster. My enhanced photo above makes it way more interesting than reality.

So, out came the Dremel tool, and 10 minutes later:

Much Better: She is Now a He

On the heels of my last photo shoot, (which featured Lenore, my Assemblage paying homage to Edgar Allan Poe and The Raven), I enjoyed it so much, I want to do another similar one.

Lenore of Nevermore

You’ll see the colors and textures of my favorite Dada art pieces …

Fruit of a Long Experience by Max Ernst – 1919

The color and texture of these assemblages really speak to me. Also, the time they were done was right after WWI, and in or around the pandemic. My grandparents, aunt, uncle and father would immigrate from Stuttgart to the US just a few years later.

Mechanical Head: The Spirit of Our Time by Raoul Hausmann

Electricity in every home was new, radio was new, even automobiles were new. Tanks and chemical weapons were used during WWI, and the world was changing in ways that truly set the stage for rapid industrialization of the modern era.

Raoul Hausmann, Spirit of the Age: Mechanical Head

Right after the 1918 pandemic, the world rebounded with an age of prosperity. The Roaring 20’s must have been something.

Ok, a little stain in just the right few spots, and my new wooden head guy will be ready for adornment. I have a few items on the way, but a happy accident happened when I grabbed the gold frame, headsets and Morse Code Telegraph Key. It feels like a nice homage and I do have a title in mind and concept that is a reflection of Hausmann, 100 years later and one pandemic later.

I’ll write about it when this Assemblage is done.

Toasted Oak

Todays song is a real experiment – where I tried several different ways to play the Lap Steel. Its not my best song – but I did learn how the Lap Steel is way more than (my old wrong opinion) that it was just an accompaniment instrument. The Lap Steel can be played as a zither or harp as well as guitar and slide guitar. Its WAY more versatile than I ever thought, and I was mesmerized at how you can try all kinds of crazy things on it. Some ideas don’t work, but there’s a lot of room to stumble on “happy accidents”.

In a word, its FUN.

Copper Leaves

These Leaves Won’t Last Long

We have three trees that have gorgeous orange, reddish, peach and copper leaves right now. That and the shorter daylight days and nights that are cool (even without fog), and it feels like the end of Summer for sure.

The Amp Side of the Mini Studio

Today’s song was inspired by the Fall beauty and how mesmerizing it is.