Have You Considered A Private Journal?

Dear Reader, how are you today? I hope you are well but I know deep down that you are not well. I’ve seen your facebook* posts. I’ve seen your frustration at the state of the world and your inability to grapple with it. You are flustered, angry, outraged, shocked. You are, in a word, vexed. Who can blame you, with all the problems in the world today?

Furthermore, it feels like things like facebook* makes the problems worse. These things that were created to make our lives simpler have turned out to be a new kind of rat race, a new void for us to scream into. However it is not a void. We see each other and recognize the pain. It is real. The toy we were given has turned into a daily trauma machine.

You know what facebook* is doing but you can’t seem to extricate yourself from it. You’ve heard maybe about a few people who have done it but you don’t know how. I personally have a few reasons for staying on the platform, a few of the hundreds of friends I’ve accrued over the years. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t stay. Perhaps you find yourself in the same situation.

For what it’s worth, I find a private journal to be quite worthwhile. I have a word file I go in almost daily and type away. I don’t worry about the form or perfect vocabulary or punctuation or even if anybody sees it. I just let my thoughts roam free, as terrifying and illogical as they often are.

You don’t have to be a teenage girl to have a private journal. You can be a forty-two year-old male who’s down on his luck like I am. Try it. You may find yourself not venting so much on facebook* and feeling free to post insignificant nonsense that attempts to be lighthearted.

One day your kids will ask you what you did during this tumultuous time in American history and you will say “I posted on facebook* about whether giving ecstasy to a crime dog would make them horny or not” and they’ll ask “Did you really?” and you’ll go “No, I didn’t do that. That was my weird friend Mike. Then he pretended it was a google* search and attempted to delete it. It was him trying to be funny.”

Then your kids will go “What’s google*?” and you’ll tell them about how they essentially own the government and you can’t get insurance without giving them a blood sample or something.

GET TO JOURNALING AND BLOW OFF SOME STEAM!

*intentionally not capitalized

Review: Eurovision Song Contest (The Story Of Fire Saga

Last night, I watched the new Will Ferrell film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix. I mostly enjoyed it. There’s the short review.

Will Ferrell plays Lars, an Icelandic man with childhood dreams of entering and winning the Eurovision Song Contest. His Abba-inspired, elf-worshiping friend Sigrit (played by Rachel McAdams), joins him in a local band called Fire Saga. Lars’ father (played by Pierce Brosnan) is a widowed fisherman who is routinely embarrassed by his son.

You could probably make a complaint about Hollywood casting. Ferrell and McAdams are supposed to be lifelong friends, but there’s a ten-year age difference in real life. Ferrell looks closer in age to Brosnan (who’s fifteen years older than him) than to McAdams. It only works because everybody does good in their roles.

Through a series of random, unlikely events, Fire Saga become the Icelandic representatives for the annual Eurovision song contest. This is an actual event that is held (exempting this year because of covid-19). As a musician, I found the musical parts of the movie are the most satirical. It’s amazing to see all these different countries represented from all over the world, each with their own unique culture, language and folklore. How do they represent themselves on an international stage? By trying to sing a middle-of-the road pop song in English. These songs are almost indistinguishable from one another. The only thing that makes them interesting is the performances which border on Cirque du Soleil at times.

The movie is a bit more kindhearted than I might have expected from Ferrell, possibly because there’s more of an affection for the subject of the movie than there might be if he were younger. I won’t say it’s a great or even good movie, but it’s breezy enough that you’ll forgive its’ dead giveaways and plotholes.

A Boomer Looks At 4chan

Ok boomer, here we go.

Soundtrack: Jimmy Buffett, “A Pirate Looks At Forty”

We all know what a baby boomer and by definition I am Generation X but what is reality anymore? For one thing, I suggested a soundtrack of Jimmy Buffett. I just looked at 4chan for the first time a few weeks ago. I’m technologically behind the curve. I might as well be a boomer.

I was afraid of 4chan because I’d heard it was a lawless hellhole, where users posted unspeakable, brain-scarring images.

I was right.

I found this in /mu, the music forum of 4chan

Furries are the chads of nerds. . . We are the tallest, richest, and most attractive. . . What the fuck do you do besides complain on the internet? Come at me kid. I’m the alpha dog in these woods. Standing five feet, ten inches tall and weight in in at 240lbs of pure muscle I could kick your ass across a football field and score 3 points, and then I would give your mother a good time with a bad dragon. I was the QB on every football team I played for. . . Pick your enemies care-fur-ly, bitch. This hound is so pawesome you don’t stand a fucking chance.

Anon

I’ve learned that 4chan has a NSFW section, so if you want to complain about the Jews or trans people or say the n-word or call other anonymous posters the f-word, but you don’t want to see pictures of people being hit by trains or covered in feces, while pretending to talk about video games, music, television or other subjects. . . then there’s a wide variety for you to do that in. I guess you can call that “work safe”?

After spending the last two weeks are so browsing and occasionally even posting on 4chan, I’ve determined that the majority of the users are fascist Steely Dan fans who hate trans people. I don’t know if there’s a connection.

In conclusion, dudes rock 2020.

Are You Tired Of Amy McGrath Yet?

Yesterday, I got a call from a volunteer asking me to vote for Amy McGrath for the Democratic Senate primary. Since I have experience volunteering for a political candidate, I was polite to this person but I let them know that thanks to the convenience of early absentee voting by mail, I had already voted for Rep. Charles Booker.

Then today I see this from Michael Adams, Kentucky’s Secretary of State:

“On April 24, Gov. Beshear and I reached a bipartisan agreement to expand voting options and ensure voting would be both safe and convenient for the June 23 election. We negotiated this agreement two months before election day in order to provide clarity for election officials, candidates and voters. That very day, Amy McGrath called the plan ‘a win for democracy,’ and even just recently the McGrath campaign aired a radio ad called ‘A Lot Easier’ that praised Governor Beshear for this plan.

“However, on June 12, the McGrath campaign sued the Governor she has been on paid radio praising, and challenged the plan she has been on paid radio endorsing. The McGrath campaign asked a federal judge to declare unconstitutional ‘the current system of absentee voting’ that Gov. Beshear and I worked so hard in good faith to establish, so that we could protect Kentucky voters from the coronavirus.“The McGrath campaign attempted to rewrite, at the last minute, election rules that were agreed to long ago by the Governor and me in bipartisan fashion. . .

“Most troubling is that the McGrath campaign took aim at the overall bipartisan agreement, seeking to have it declared unconstitutional, potentially invalidating the votes that hundreds of thousands of Kentucky voters already have cast safely from home.

What changed between April and now that caused McGrath to seek to “attempt to rewrite the rules” as the Secretary of State puts it? Could it be the rising candidacy of Rep. Booker, Louisville resident from the West End who was the only Democratic candidate to actually show up at any of the post-George Floyd/Breonna Taylor protests. Could it be that Booker is the only one who actually has shown any attempt at leadership and fighting for his people?

Or could it be simply that the McGrath campaign got the poll numbers and found themselves slipping. They’re outspending Booker 20 to 1 and are barely winning. In this unprecedented time of pandemic and protests, no lead is to be taken for granted. Each county on June 23 will have ONE polling place. Not precinct, COUNTY. If this pandemic is what it takes for us to make the more convenient option, we should embrace it. Forget about the primary for a minute. This is about how we want to conduct our voting system. We should make it easier for everybody, especially when you consider how everything in society is tailored for ease and convenience. Why not the most important aspects of the world we live?

But even with tens of millions of dollars and the most public visibility and the thumb of Chuck Schumer on the scale, Amy McGrath can’t close the deal. So now she has to result to lawsuits and throwing money at the problem. Fortunately for her, she has a lot of money.



Three million dollars, much of it going out of state to national ad buys and regional ad buys that bleed into Kentucky. A lot of her money is coming from out of state. Meanwhile, Booker is getting most of his money in state. Granted, he’s being outspent 20-to-1 but the 1 are those can actually vote in these elections. He picked up a valuable endorsement from Ky. Sports Radio host Matt Jones and if this doesn’t work then I see him running again, if not for Rand Paul’s seat in 2022 then for Mayor of Louisville (obviously Greg Fischer has failed the city in the wake of the Breonna Taylor shooting). We’ll be forced to sit through a few more months of McGrath’s ads about being a little girl with dreams of being a fighter pilot and having her letter ignored by McConnell, just like he ignored so many Kentuckians. Eventually, she’ll spend the GDP of a small country just to lose by 5-10 points in November. I just have a hard time seeing how Amy McGrath defeats McConnell if she struggles with Booker even with all her advantages.

Here’s The Liner Notes

Since The Michael Farmer Collection by Kentucky Prophet won’t get a physical release, here is my attempt at liner notes.

collection

To the best of my knowledge:

1.Kentucky Prophet Theme Song  2. Holland  3. Somehooow  4. Valet Parking At The Player’s Ball 

Produced by Ian Gaffney/Colin Smith.

Written by Farmer/Gaffney/C. Smith. Recorded 2002-2003, North Hollywood, Cal. Released as part of the Kentucky Prophet Brain Rap EP, 2005.

Programmed and instrumentation by Gaffney/Smith.

Colin and Ian gave me the nickname “Kentucky Prophet”. It’s better if someone gives you a nickname than if you give yourself one. If you google “Kentucky Prophet”, you’ll likely come up with a bunch of stuff about the late somnambulist Edgar Cayce. 

5. Orcs & Goblins  6. Poor Confetti  7. Physical  8. I’m Here If You Need Me

Produced by Taylor Smith/Michael Farmer.

Recorded 2002-2003, Sherman Oaks, Cal. Previously Unreleased.

“Orcs & Goblins” written by Farmer. “Physical” is a cover of the Olivia Newton-John song, written by Terry Shaddick and Steve Kipner. “I’m Here If You Need Me” and “Poor Confetti” written by Farmer/T. Smith.

“Orcs & Goblins” keyboards Farmer, other instrumentation unsure. Other songs instrumentation by Taylor Smith, vocals by Michael Farmer.

Taylor invited me to move to L.A. in 2001. None of the music in this collection gets recorded if not for that life-changing moment. We had a two-man band and these four songs represent that. I lived there for a year-and-a-half. 

 9. Intro  10. I Sell Drugs To Celebrities  11. Yes Men  12. Drink To Kill The Pain  13. It’s A Wonderful Life  14. Good Time Girl

Produced by Colin Smith/Ian Gaffney.

Recorded 2007, Brooklyn, NY.

Released as part of the Kentucky Prophet album Beyond The Fringe.

All songs written by Farmer/Gaffney/C. Smith.

Instrumentation and programming by C. Smith and Gaffney except for accordion on “Drink To Kill The Pain” by Meryl Young. Girl singer on “It’s A Wonderful Life” unknown (sorry).

Colin and Ian lived in the same apartment complex as me and Taylor. I would go over to their place and bother them. By 2007, they had moved back to the east coast and I joined them for a week to make an album. I spent a week in Brooklyn and I never left the apartment because I was focused on recording.

 15. The Concept Of You  16. We All Got Blues  17. Die Alone

Produced by Russell Brooks. Recorded 2010/2011., Bowling Green, KY.

Released as part of the Mike Farmer album Dolphin.

All songs written by Michael Farmer.

Guitar by Shelby Smith. Drums by Nick Clark. Keyboards/vocals by Michael Farmer. Bass/guitar/programming by Russell Brooks.

I retired the name “Kentucky Prophet” and decided to try my way as a singer-songwriter while simultaneously fronting the band Technology Vs. Horse (they’re also on Spotify). “The Concept Of You” was inspired by a Harry Belafonte documentary. We built the songs up around my piano playing but I didn’t release it for years. 

 18. The Past  19. Mountain Music  20. Learning To Live Without You

Recorded by Patrick Richardson.

Recorded 2013, Greenville, Ky.

Released as part of the Mike Farmer album Greenville 2013.

All songs written by Michael Farmer.

Piano/vocals by Michael Farmer.

I also didn’t release this for years after I recorded it. I recorded it in a church because someone advised me to record my piano songs in a good room with a good sound. 

21. Jesus Without Mary

Produced by Russell Brooks.

Recorded 2018/2019, Bowling Green, Ky.

Released as a stand-alone single.

Written by Michael Farmer.

Piano/vocals by Michael Farmer. String arrangement by Russell Brooks.

This is the first song I recorded after my band TVH broke up in 2017. I released it on bandcamp like I did the Dolphin and Greenville albums. I did a basic track and left it to Russell to fill it. 

 

 

 

 

Coming To Spotify: The Michael Farmer Collection

If you love music, and you like me, you will be pleased by the impending digital release of The Michael Farmer Collection by Kentucky Prophet.

Twenty-one songs from my entire career, including some previously unreleased. It’s a weird, wonderful world and story. Available to all major streaming platforms.

Do you like rock ‘n roll? Rap music? Pop music? Bizarre tangents that go nowhere? Do you like to laugh? To cry? To ponder why you are even on this planet? Do you like songs about orcs and goblins? YES, ALL OF THAT IS INCLUDED.

The track listing isn’t finalized yet but one song that will definitely be there is “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

 

Do you TikTok? You can play these songs on there? Do you Spotify? Same thing? Pandora? Same thing. If it’s a streaming platform used on this planet, I guarantee you The Michael Farmer Collection by Kentucky Prophet is on there.

This is a strange world and strange times we live in. I have no idea what the future holds so I wanted to put some of my best and favorite songs. I hope you enjoy this no matter your preferred listening platform or gender pronoun.

When the album is out, I’ll give more information, especially about the unreleased songs. If this music seems like it’s from an alternate universe, it might be because the world has changed so much between now and then. Especially recently.

Let’s Get Together And Sing “Imagine”

I find myself with so much to say and yet I am at a loss for words. A month ago, there was no coronavirus as far as you and I were concerned. This thing has us on our heels. Our lives have been disrupted, privately and collectively. So what the hell can you possibly say about it while it’s still going on?

This is a great country if you’re a winner. If you’re the kind of person who can do a viral video of singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” with your fellow celebrities, it’s an incredible country. And if you can make it all the way through that video without your stomach turning, it’s a comfortable place to live indeed. But it’s a tough place for the rest of us. The rent is due at the beginning of the month, even though a third of country is unemployed. Half the country can’t afford a $500 emergency. The coronavirus is beyond that.

The coronavirus is something you and I didn’t know about a month ago, but other people did. The president knew, his advisors, a lot of people in Washington knew. All the top executives in big business knew months ago. All the stuff we’re doing now: the social distance, the wearing of masks, the self-isolation. We could have done that months ago to keep these number of cases and deaths down. That didn’t happen. We could have been told in February to stay at home and wear masks and not hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer. But that didn’t happen. Because the economy was too important.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans could die. I and my loved ones could die. Because the people who run this country bungled this whole thing. Because the economy was too important. All of our hopes and dreams and goals for this year and beyond, yours and mine, all thrown into helicopter blades because of the political and professional hopes of the stupidest people imaginable.

You need to remember this because this is an election year and you need to hold them to account for what they’ve done. Are you going to tolerate four more years of the emotions that you feel right now?

Election 2020: Just Find Out

Super Tuesday 1 AM.

A third of the delegates for the Democratic presidential primary are up for grabs on Super Tuesday. Between Saturday and Tuesday, we were left with four major candidates left in the race: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Biden won decisively in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, garnering thirty-nine delegates. Sanders gained the rest. Billionaire Tom Steyer finished third and dropped out of the race. Within twenty-four hours, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar also suspended their campaigns. . . but endorsed Biden, as did former Texas congressman/Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.

ESKHr1FWsAAeyLI

It’s appalling to me that folks object to the idea of Sanders because either a. he’s an independent and not a Democrat or b. some of his fans are aggressive bordering on mean. Have you ever been online before? This is an online culture that communicates in memes, and they aint always nice.

ESFCliHW4AA-2yc

This internet is the wild, wild west. Imagine the other extreme of that. A draconian nightmare.

As far as Sanders not being a Democrat. . . what’s wrong with that? I registered as a Democrat when I was eighteen, but that doesn’t make me so. We’re not one party or the other. We’re Americans and we oughta act like it. This country is divided online where we share memes and scream at each other. In the real world, we mix together. When we try to talk to each other about stuff, it gets awkward. We don’t know how to communicate and we come away from the conversation entrenched in our beliefs. But hopefully we can go back and try again another day.

As for me, I see Klobuchar and Buttigieg and O’Rourke stumping for Biden before Super Tuesday and it makes perfect sense. They’re afraid of losing to Trump, but they’re also afraid of what would happen if Bernie were to win in November. What would happen if Bernie became the President and the leader of the Democratic party? How would he reshape their platform, their agenda?

The magic number is 1,991. That’s the number of delegates need to win the nomination on the first ballot. Bernie has 60. Biden has 54. I assume Buttigieg and Klobuchar will pledge their combined 33 delegates to Biden for a total of 87. Warren has 8. That makes the score Bernie 60, Everybody Else 95. If nobody gets 1,991 on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in July, then things get incredibly complicated and I don’t have the time or aspirin to write about it.

I’m scared that if Bernie is nominated he won’t be able to win in November. I don’t think he’ll be able to accomplish everything he’s talking about if he wins. I’ve seen this a million times. It is the pleading of those who want to retain what hasn’t been eroded by Trump. It is completely understandable.

I’m forty-two years old. I’ve seen some things given to the public but I’ve seen more taken away. I want more. I want the public to have what it is entitled to. I want someone who will fight for us. Not himself. Us.

Frank Zappa Albums as dril Tweets

drilzappa

 

The late rock star/composer/guitarist Frank Zappa (d. 1993) and weird twitter account dril aren’t for everybody but the people love them think they’re the pinnacle of their respective mediums.

Zappa did not live to see the instantaneous, random online world but one might imagine he would have thrived in it. By himself and with his band the Mothers of Invention, he released over fifty albums in his lifetime. I decided to describe them using dril tweets. If you can think of a better way, you do it.

It’s not a definitive list but that’s okay. Art is subjective. There is no God.

FreakOut! Freak Out (1966)

FrankZappa-AbsolutelyFree Absolutely Free (1967)

Zappamoney2 We’re Only In It For The Money (1968)

Verve_Lumpy_Gravy Lumpy Gravy (1968)

Frank_Zappa_-_Uncle_Meat Uncle Meat (1969)

Frank_Zappa_-_Cruising_With_Ruben_&_the_Jets Cruising with Ruben & The Jets (1968)

 

Hot_Rats_(Frank_Zappa_album_-_cover_art) Hot Rats (1969)

 

Burnt Weeny Sandwich & Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970)

The title track to “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”, the second most inscrutable Zappa album.

 

 

Chunga’s Revenge, Fillmore East – June 1971, Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, and Just Another Band From L.A. (1970-1972)

Video below: Zappa with his two fat sons Flo & Eddie on lead vocals

 

Waka/Jawaka & The Grand Wazoo (1972)

Frank-Zappa-Overnite-Sensation-1973-cover Over-Nite Sensation (1973)

Apostrophe_(') Apostrophe (‘) (1974)

Video below: Zappa and the Mothers singing “Stinkfoot”

 

Roxy & Elsewhere & One Size Fits All (1974-1975)

Zappa_Bongo_Fury Bongo Fury (with Captain Beefheart, 1975)

cook

Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa: two bearded intellectuals

Zappa_Zoot_Allures Zoot Allures (1976)

 

Zappa_in_New_York Zappa In New York (1978)

Studio Tan, Sleep Dirt & Orchestra Favorites (1978-1979)

Sheik Yerbouti & Joe’s Garage (1979)

Fan-made video for “Dancin’ Fool” from Sheik Yerbouti

 

Tinseltown Rebellion & You Are What You Is (1981)

Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar & Frank Zappa: Guitar (1981, 1988)

Frank_Zappa_-_Ship_Arriving_Too_Late_to_Save_a_Drowning_Witch Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch (1982)

“Valley Girl” from Ship Arriving…, a duet with daughter Moon Zappa (his only Top 40 song)

The_Man_From_Utopia The Man From Utopia (1983)

London Symphony Orchestra & The Perfect Stranger: Boulez Conducts Zappa (1983-1984, 1987)

Zappa_Them_or_Us Them Or Us (1984)

Zappa_Thing-Fish Thing-Fish (1984)

I know I posted that tweet already. Here’s “The Mammy Nuns” from Thing-Fish, the most inscrutable Zappa album.

Francesco Zappa, Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention & Jazz From Hell (1984-1986)

Frank_Zappa,_Does_Humor_Belong_In_Music Does Humor Belong In Music? (1986)

Zappa_Broadway_The_Hard_Way Broadway The Hard Way (1988)

You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, Volumes 1-6, Playground Psychotics & Ahead Of Their Time (1988-1993)

Frank_Zappa,_Make_A_Jazz_Noise_Here Make A Jazz Noise Here (1991)

Zappa-best-band-2 The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (1991)

Frank_Zappa,_Yellow_Shark The Yellow Shark (1993)

Video: “G-Spot Tornado” from The Yellow Shark. Zappa conducts the Ensemble Modern in his last public appearance, September 1992.

Frank_Zappa,_Civilization_Phaze_III Civilization, Phaze III (posthumous, 1994)

 

She Was My Hero

Don’t read this if you don’t want to cry

My grandmother passed away December 21, 2019.

I am going to tell you about the time she saved my life. It is not my fondest memory of her, just my deepest.

We lived in Hammond, Indiana where winters were cold and icy and snow would pile up deep into the spring. I don’t remember exactly when this happened but it was so cold that giant icicles hung off the edges of the buildings.

It seems almost unthinkable now that little kids walked by themselves down a city street. Granny used to walk me to school but she stopped because she hurt her leg falling through a porch. My mom wasn’t there because she worked the graveyard shift. I didn’t have a dad. Granny picked up the slack. One winter day, I walked home with another kid from class.

We got to the corner where I lived, on a second floor of a two-story apartment building. The icicles hung so low off the building that he grabbed a piece and broke it off. He wielded it like a club. It was thick like a nightstick made of ice. The look on his face became menacing.

He said he wouldn’t start chasing me until the count of ten. If I got in before then, he wouldn’t hit me.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) being chased by someone with a nightstick-thick icicle, I made it to the front door. Two doors between me and safety. I could see my grandmother’s kind, smiling warm face in the window behind them. I just needed to get inside and I’d be safe.

He never got to ten. . . but he swung down on my head anyway. Now that I’m older I ask myself when would he have been satisfied? When I cried? I was already crying. When he saw blood? There was blood. If I stopped moving entirely?

For so long, I was mad at my granny for not opening that door and getting me to safety. I never considered that she had no idea what was going on. That she saw me walking down the street from the window upstairs and missed everything afterwards. How difficult it must have been for her to get down the stairs in the first place.

I never thanked her for coming outside and scaring him away before he really did me in. For getting me up the stairs and comforting me when I was terrified.

She was always there for me throughout my life. I never doubted her love. It was a grandmother’s love when I was little boy, called into duty to be a mother’s love for a second tour while my mother supported us working a graveyard shift.

I loved my granny but I was mad at her. Like a child gets mad.

I’m sorry, Granny. Thank you a million times. Forgive me. I might not be here if not for you. Your deepest memory of me is probably different than mine of yours. Hopefully it was happier.