Reminder: The Mike Farmer Bandcamp

I can’t believe I did this.

With some considerable help, I opened a Bandcamp which covers my musical career. This covers Mr. Neutron, Kentucky Prophet, and music under my real name. Some of these songs were independently released, others were self-released and a few were barely released. More than a few were never released.

This will be a supplement to the Technology Vs. Horse Bandcamp, the band I performed with for thirteen years. Between the TVH and this, I think it’s nearly all out there or as much as I want it to be.

Contents as of right now:

I encourage you to listen to all of these. I want you to download the Mike Farmer stuff, and pay whatever you want even if it’s nothing. If you want to buy the Kentucky Prophet stuff, that’s fine because they’re pretty good. I discourage you from buying the Mr. Neutron stuff because it’s juvenilia. I just put it up for posterity.

There’s other stuff to come, possibly:

  • unreleased Kentucky Prophet songs
  • a bunch of Mr. Neutron stuff from 1997-2004
  • a set of Mike Farmer piano demos, 2007
  • a bunch of stuff from L.A. 2001-2003
  • a few strange covers
  • new stuff in the future(???)

Seriously, I wish I were a legacy artist so I could cash in on this stuff. I’ve been doing this stuff way too long.

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Do You Realize?

It’s real easy to bag on Wayne Coyne and Lord knows he makes it easy sometimes. But dammit if it he doesn’t have one musical achievement he can hang his entire life on: “Do You Realize?”

Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?” Flaming Lips sang that in 2002. To the best of my knowledge, and I don’t mind being corrected on this, no one in music had ever before or has ever since actually addressed anything like this. Close the book on it, everybody. Wayne Coyne handled it. So many bullshit songs out there. But one day you gotta face it: everyone you know is going to die. Your family, your friends, you. Everyone.

But you’re not worried so much about what happens when you die. What about the people you love? What about when they die? What do you do then? When I was a kid, I knew my grandfather was eventually going to die and yet it terrified me. He was the most important person in my life. He was my world. His eventual death was my biggest fear. What was I going to do? It was inevitable.

My grandfather finally passed away five years ago. By then it stopped being my worst fear if only because of the sheer amount of suffering he had gone through in his final years. But for the longest time, in the back of mind there was that train of thought that said “please don’t go, please don’t go” and I’d fight tears at the very idea of it. “I don’t want him to go. Please. I don’t know if I can take it. Don’t go. No, no, no.”

You’re probably wondering why I would even entertain those thoughts, but no one entertains them. No one enjoys the thoughts that frighten them the most. They just encroach our minds no matter what we do.

What do the Flaming Lips sing about the inevitability of death: “And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast. It’s hard to make the good things last. . .

But that’s so hard to do because you’re too fixated on “do you realize that everyone you know someday will die“. Everyone will die. And then you’re alone. Then what? It’s too much to bear.

The panic is pure and undiluted and it runs through me and I just want to scream out. There are no easy answers. I have a small family and that family will get smaller one by one until one day there’s only me. And I won’t know what to do when that day comes. And I’m scared about that. When the only people who have loved and protected me my entire life will be gone. One day I will be what is known as an “elder orphan” and I won’t have anyone to rely on in times of need. Because I’m always in need. And who doesn’t need somebody?

Years ago, I wrote a song called “Die Alone”. There’s two recorded versions of it on Bandcamp in addition to this video. I’ve played it for people who told me it made them want to put a gun in their mouth. But it’s not about dying alone. It’s about living alone. When no one is there for you. You haven’t started your own family to replace the one you lost. There’s just you. Or in this case me, trying to put the bravest face on a terrifying situation.

Deep down, I’m just a scared child. I don’t know how I’m going to handle the future. I don’t know how to plan ahead. Even if you wanted to throw out some suggestions to me, it wouldn’t help because I’m too busy screaming from the bottom of my heart.

I know, I know. There’s so many things that I can do to prepare for the future. But I can’t do them, especially right now. All I can do is panic and then try to push it out of my mind. It’s sick. It’s human. “Do you realize that happiness makes you cry?” Indeed. And did you know you’re more likely to cry from sadness and fear? Yes, and that’s why the same people who came up with “Do You Realize?” later went on to title one of their albums “The Terror”. Because the terror is what all of this is about. And the terror engulfs everything and everyone.

You want to think about that on a Monday afternoon?

 

Sweet Abortion Emotions

It is the Year of our Lord, 2020. I am on a stage somewhere in this Commonwealth of ragged glory known as Kentucky. Behind me is a band of rockin’ miscreants. And we are walking with the King.

In front of us are hundreds of pissed off people. Not pissed off at us but at something else. A larger force. A government, a society, a religion, a system, a code. These people are not only pissed, they are exhausted. And they have had it.

But for one moment, they are up for it. They are ready to roll. They are ready to rumble and fight. It’s an electric moment. And it’s all because of. . .

. . . an Aerosmith song with one word changed: “Sweet Abortion”.

 

It started as a joke. Me being an idiot. It was funny to me. Then it stopped being funny and I started considering how far I could take it. Then I had a fantasy I could take it to the people and they would respond to it. Maybe they didn’t like Aerosmith and in fact hated them but this minor alteration hit them just right.

“SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET ABBOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRTIIIOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!  SWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET ABBOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRTIIIOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNN!”

By changing one word in the chorus, I turned Aerosmith’s classic song into something more than a joke. And now tonight onstage with this band behind me, I feel like a Great Man. A man who has united his people.

“Sweet Emotion” is now “Sweet Abortion” and it is an anthem. Because women’s reproductive rights are not just to be defended. They are to be fought for, to go on offense over.  There are people who are already taking the fight to the anti-abortion crowd on the legal and political front. Naturally, most of them are women. I’m just a spoke on the wheel. Actually, I’m just a punk letting off steam.

In this dream, I am not Steven Tyler. I’m not dressed in white silk robes. I am myself. I am always myself. I could fit in with the crowd if I were out there instead of on the stage. I could bless the beasts and children if I wanted to. But instead I am gripping that microphone and I’m singing “I can’t say baby where I’ll be in ten years.” Then I start screaming “I MIGHT BE DEAD IN TEN YEARS! WE COULD ALL BE DEAD IN TEN YEARS!” Then I grit my teeth to keep from screaming more before the next part.

And we’re all singing those two words together. “Sweet abortion”. Nobody put those words together before. There’s one abortion clinic in Kentucky. One. Imagine being on the other side of the state and having to travel to Louisville to have that done. I think about Bowling Green, home to Western Kentucky University. How many girls get/got pregnant in that town, yet have to go to Louisville or Nashville to get an abortion done? Why isn’t there a clinic in Bowling Green?

The band plays on. The tempo picks up. I stop singing and just start ranting. Some of things I’ve just told you I say over the microphone. People strain to listen but can they actually hear me? I’m not saying anything they don’t already realize but I don’t know I’m getting through. That bassline gets through: it is immortal. It’s one of Aerosmith’s few good songs.

I am well aware of the many people who are anti-abortion. They wouldn’t like what I’m putting down at all. Maybe they would object to the use of the Aerosmith song. Oh ho ho ho ho ho. If that’s you, I would strongly recommend Googling “Steven Tyler abortion” and then consider minding your own business when it comes to other people’s bodies.

Slow down, darlin’, slow down. I am having a manic episode. I have a grand idea and no way to get there. I suppose I could take a karaoke version of “Sweet Emotion” and just cut my vocals over it. Then I could go back to performing and play that at shows in front of unsuspecting onlookers. No telling how they would respond. It’s a crapshoot. I remember the last Kentucky Prophet shows were performed for handfuls of people. I could fit the audience in a freight elevator. Once again, I have a grandiose vision and no clear idea of how to get there.

Am I having a manic episode? Probably. Is it bad? No, not really. It’s a fantasy. But I’ll leave you with this one last vision. At that performance? rally? protest? benefit? where me and the band are cranking out a seemingly endless version of “Sweet Abortion”, somebody unfurls a giant banner that shows the Aerosmith logo except there’s one major change because where the band’s name is supposed to be instead sits. . . you guessed it “ABORTION”.

Somebody put that on billboards. Where’s that gofundme?

 

…And It’s Over

It took about thirty-six hours for Amy McGrath to fuck it up.

 

 

 

Ooof. So how did we get here? Well, let’s check out this Q&A McGrath did with Joe Sonka of Insider Louisville. 

joesonka1

Oooookay. And this from the Louisville Courier-Journal.

joesonka2

WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT? If you have any left-leaning principles, you will find a lot to be frustrated about in these two articles but just stay on this one subject. Stay on the subject of Brett “Boof” Kavanaugh, Supreme Court Justice. I hate to go through this again because it was so painful the first time but goddamn it. The guy was accused of attempting to rape a girl when they were both teenagers. The entire debacle of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey-Ford’s testimony in front of the Senate Judicial Subcommittee is one of the great American clusterfucks of our time, and that says a lot considering the time we live in. This was a slam dunk of a “no” vote and yet it passed on party lines because the only thing that talks in Washington is power.

Consider this: the guy who was accused of attempted rape went on an unhinged tirade in front of the subcommittee, practically foaming at the mouth and ACTUALLY BLAMED THE FUCKING CLINTONS. Even if he were innocent, the lack of temperament shown in his performance made him a “no” vote.

If I may address you, Amy McGrath: yes, technically Brett Kavanaugh is qualified for the bench. Of course he is. He was on the 2nd Circuit of D.C. before the Supreme Court. And had he not been made a Supreme Court Justice he would remain on the 2nd Circuit. It wasn’t an all-or-nothing deal. But you know who else was qualified to be on the bench, Amy McGrath? THE JUDGES IN THE DRED SCOTT DECISION, you fucking useless goddamn idiot. THE JUDGES IN PLESSY VS. FERGUSON. They were qualified too. Citizens fucking United, you ignoramus!

Goddammit.

You don’t have to vote on them just because they’re qualified. You can vote based on past rulings and ideology. Why am I telling you this? You’re the one that said Washington is where ideals go to die? You said that in your slick three-minute campaign video. Where the fuck are your ideals, Amy? What do you believe? I mean, Mitch McConnell is more qualified than you are to be senator. If that’s the logic you want to apply, then should I vote for him?

It took you less than 36 hours to completely fuck this up with the people most likely to vote for you. Here you are trying to get the Trump lovers who hate McConnell. Now you’re pissing off everyone else who hates the guy. You have no credibility and if you were to somehow win in 2020, nobody would have any faith in you to show any backbone once you got to Washington. You’ve pissed off the conservatives for flip-flopping and you’ve pissed off the liberals for even considering voting for Kavanaugh in the first place. This is what I meant when I talked about the DNC’s “something-for-everybody, appealing to nobody” campaigns.

Am I wrong to expect any amount of moral consistency here?

McGrath vs. Shitstain 2020

Let’s get ready to discuss the always fun subject of Kentucky politics. Oh groan no this is torture don’t do this Mike don’t you want to be happy. Life is worth living. You have your whole future ahead of you, Mike.

In addition to the Presidential election in 2020, Kentucky will have a US Senate election. And you can start to see why this is so stressful. Because the incumbent senator in question is goddamn shitstain I dontwanttypehisfuckingnamefuckhim. You know who. He’s the Senate Majority Leader and a Republican and he looks like a turtle and everyone hates him.

 

This is the most hateable fucking guy in the country. At least you can understand Trump’s charisma to the people who like him. Who fucking likes this guy?

Amy McGrath is counting on that difference. If you don’t know who that is, she’s the new challenger to shitstain’s seat in the U.S. Senate. She ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2018. Now she’s going to run a (likely) unsuccessful senate campaign. I don’t want to be a pessimist but I live in Kentucky, therefore. I should add that I don’t want her to be unsuccessful. But as deeply unpopular as shitstain is, shitstain is also a state institution and that’s going to be hard to unseat. The bastard practically has a death grip on his senate seat and with it, the majority leadership and with that, the Republican Party itself.

If you didn’t have to stomach to play that clip above (can’t blame you), he was asked by a journalist about the revelation that some of his ancestors in Alabama owned slaves, and how that may have altered his feelings about reparations if at all. To which he replied that the two things he had in common with President Obama were that a.) neither of them believed in reparations and b.) both of them were descendants of slave owners.

You just want to slap the bastard. I’ll leave you out that. I want to slap the bastard. But let’s get back to Amy McGrath who announced her candidacy on Tuesday with a three-minute video.

 

Let’s go through shitstain’s last several Democratic opponents. The last one was the state Secretary of State. Beat her by sixteen percentage points. The one before that was against the former state Secretary of Commerce and he beat the guy by six points. The one before that was the daughter of a former governor and an advocate for public education and of course she got pasted.

Now the latest challenger and probable nominee is McGrath, a retired Marine and fighter pilot who dropped bombs on Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Just like in 2018, she came out of the gate with the above video and some appearances on cable news shows. In the first twenty-four hours of her campaign, she raised $2.5 million. That’s the kind of money a presidential candidate would envy. She’s going to need a lot of money to compete against a well-funded McConnell campaign.

The downside of Amy McGrath is that there will be no room for anyone to primary her from the left. There’s no way any other candidate will raise a fraction of what McGrath raised in her first day. Possibly because nobody else was recruited by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. McGrath is the DNC’s pick. Anybody else is playing catch-up from jump, no matter where they stand ideologically. Somebody with actual legislative experience, like for example State Rep. Attica Scott, would be lucky to raise six figures during her campaign, let alone within the first 24 hours.

McGrath’s 2018 congressional campaign debuted with a splashy, well-produced, inspirational ad. She raised a lot of money instantly. Her race against Andy Barr was one of the most expensive in the country. Although Barr’s district is considered one of the more liberal districts in the state, that says a lot about Kentucky. About how conservative Kentucky is overall. About how gerrymandered the state is to fuck-all. About how popular Trump is in this state (he beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by over thirty points).

McGrath lost to Barr by three points in a district where Trump defeated Hillary by fifteen points. The DNC look at those numbers and see a twelve-point swing. Everybody else looks at those numbers and sees a Democrat who lost. Unfortunately, this seems to be the best we can do right for 2020. Or that’s the best we think we can do. And this is going to be a repeat of what happened in 2018 when McGrath took on Andy Barr, when she came out of the gate strong but was unable to build on that and win.

There’s so much more to this and I’ll have until November 2020 to write about it. I will hate every minute of it. McGrath and the DNC will have sixteen months to take the bloom off the rose and lose this fucker.

Ashley Judd, do you want to jump in on this one?