Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Freedom Through Discipline PSA: Your Fetish Is Making You A Dumb-ass.


Today I got an inquiry from a novice, which reminded me that even though someone has a fetish that makes them a dangerous fucking idiot, perhaps they are not fully aware they are being a dangerous fucking idiot.  Hence, this exchange:


From "D" (Name has been changed to protect the stupid):



Dear Mistress Veronica,

I wanted to know your availability for a scissor session where you ignore tap outs, and try to make me pass out in them. A lot of women have tried, and they have failed, and I find that kind of session enjoyable, I hope you do as well. I encourage you to please go after the arteries. :P

Sincerely,
D




Isn't it funny he described the women as having "failed"?  Ha ha!  Idiot.  My response:



Hi D,



Your fetish is very dangerous, and frankly, I do not blame the women you sessioned with who "failed".  There is no way of knowing whether someone is passed out or in fact really in need of medical assistance, hence, no sane Domme will want that issue on their conscience (or their dungeon floor).  I suggest you try to satisfy yourself in the lifestyle community and find someone who really cares about you and is willing to go to that extreme.  

Since you are a beginner, it is possible that you are experiencing "sub drop" after your sessions, which is not a function of how well it went, but a cognitive dissonance from what you are imagining your "perfect" session to be and what is actually really consensually available from another person who is not a sociopath.


V


P.S. By "lifestyle community" I mean find an experienced Domme by way of The Eulenspiegel Society or another organization which promotes RACK (Risk-Aware Consensual Kink) or SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) play.


Anyway, I'm sure he's a nice enough person/dumb-ass.



xoxo.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hidden Gems and Out There Gems [vintage edition]


"The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved 

with concord of sweet sounds, 

Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; 

The motions of his spirit are dull as night, 

And his affections dark as Erebus. 

Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music."


-Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice)


I hate people who quote Shakespeare, but I always liked that one and it's my blog, so go fuck yourself.  I have talked to a lot of people who say they love music, and it's always a funny thing because a lot of the time they mean one or two genres. I think most genres have something that's good (except show tunes, there are no good show tunes so just shut up), and I don't mean to cover all of them here because I don't need to prove it-- especially to you-- but music is a very polarizing topic. I know that if someone likes certain things, I will probably get along with them pretty well, and I'm usually right. Also, liking everything or most things in a certain genre means you're boring and have no perspective.  No genre is wholly great, unless you are referring to before 1975.  All popular music was pretty good before then or at least listenable (So what happened?  Cocaine? An existential malaise born out of the futility of Vietnam?  The demoralization of a public realizing that it's government lies to them?  These are questions that are loftier than the scope of this blog but it is interesting to think about).

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they like something, it must mean that it's "good".   I like a lot of things that are not considered "good", I just like them and I don't give a shit if that means that my taste is questionable, because you know what?  Anyone who only listens to THE BEST kind of music usually takes themselves too seriously and by default, sucks.  Meaning, there is plenty of so-called "bad" music that is enjoyable.  I am not going to list it on my OKCupid profile (ha!  as if) but who doesn't like a little Hall and Oates? (admit it!)  Or Rapper's Delight?  Sure, we've all heard it a million times, but it is catchy as HELL, and if you can sit straight during it then you should check your pulse.  And I KNOW that you middle-aged white men have a secret place for Journey.  Or Rush!  Not good bands.  Technically, maybe Rush is superior to Journey, but they are trash.  Oh, here's a good one-- Pearl Jam!  They suck, they have one song that they've milked into like ten albums.  All their songs are the same.  Listen again.

POLARIZING!

Anyway, there are way too many things I like to just write one blog about, hence this is the Vintage Edition of Hidden Gems...  Stay tuned for a hip hop edition, a movie soundtrack edition, a ladie's (fuck yeah) edition, and probably more as I think of them.

I know that most of you probably love The Stones and know a lot about them.  I actually got in a debate with a dude in my coffee shop (who's in "a band") who admitted he didn't like them.  He was like, "If I have to listen to Under My Thumb one more time, I'll go nuts,"  and I was like, if you are basing your opinion on the songs that got strong radio play, then you can't really make that statement. Exile on Main Street is one of the best crafted albums ever, but Metamorphosis is also really terrific. This is my favorite song from the album, not surprisingly, written by Stevie Wonder:







(Here is the Stevie version which I actually think is better. Stevie transitioning out of being Little Stevie.)


                                              



Speaking of Stevie, and it is easy to get me started, here is a wonderful, wonderful live performance on a German Bandstand-y type of show from the 70's called Musikladen (also called Beat Club?).  He is fully in control of the band, seamlessly guiding them in and through and around his songs.  My favorite part of the set is when he takes it down and just bursts into a song he wrote for Roberta Flack.  Fast forward to 14:19 (I've never been able to find a version of it anywhere but on Youtube). Of course I recommend that you watch the entire thing, as it is super groovy, holmes. 





Going back to The Stones, another band who is credited as sounding like them but who never got ANY airplay are The Flamin Groovies.  They went through a few hardships and the band members couldn't really agree on a sound (or much else), which may have detracted from their success. Nonetheless, they are still touring and still sound fucking great.  The Stones even admit that their version of Jumpin Jack Flash is superior.  Won over yet?  No?  Listen (make sure you have it turned up to eleven).  You can find their live album Slow Death, on Spotify, which has their version of Jumpin Jack Flash.






Keeping in the same time period, everyone knows Ike and Tina, but THIS.  I wish there was a live version somewhere.


                                            



Oh, so you've heard everything by Otis Redding?  Really?  Okay...


                                             



Anyone who's sessioned with me knows I love to play Prince.  I found this and had to put it here because he changed the lyrics of the girl asking him whether he's gay from, "No, are you?!" to "No, is YO MOMMA?!?"





I put this on Twitter the other day, but I'm putting it here too, because it's fucking great.  And come on, it's Soul Train.


                                       





I think UFO eventually turned into some Tangerine Dream kind of prog rock band, but in the early 70's, they fucking shredded.  Even shirtless.  And yes I said shredded.

                                          





I find The Who to be especially polarizing.  Personally, I don't care for them, but before they reincarnated themselves as The Who(fucking cares) they were The High Numbers- a little mod band who sang a lot of covers of blues numbers in people's basements.  Also, they were awesome. Check it:


                                             




Whenever I talk to someone about this band they're like, oh no, you mean The Faces-- with Rod Stewart-- and I'm like, NO, the Small Faces.  They eventually turned into The Faces though.  The video is edited weird, but you get the idea.



                                            



Finally, Esquerita taught Little Richard to play piano and if you listen to it, a few other things. Allegedly they were lovers for a time and he was also drag queen.  Hands down, one of the most interesting rock personalities that ever existed.  This is a good one:


                                           



xoxox.

                                           

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This is an article I wrote in 2012...

One of my friends had a very short-lived music blog a few years ago, for which I wrote a few pieces. I totally forgot about it until now, when Gil Scott-Heron came on my Pandora. Here you go:


Paying Reparations on Your Soul: Gil Scott-Heron's Legacy Yesterday and Today


There is no societal narrative for when a talented artist becomes a drug addict and lives out much of his life in this fashion.  Hence, people do not know what to do with them.  We pity them, we see them as ravaged, defeated, somehow they lost in life.  In his new work, "I'm New Here", Heron gives a contextual identity to this person.  The poetry of his music has always dealt with a "ghetto pathos", which he embodies emotionally and politically.  Addiction and poverty being the main themes of this pathos, much of Heron's music in the 70's gave gravity to the pervasiveness of these problems, as he spoke about them from a position of experience.  In his new work, this gravity seems to have morphed into a mischievous yet haunted voice of fate and redemption.  Someone who has hit bottom and lets us vicariously peek down the rabbit hole.  It is perhaps not a stretch to say that he has languished in the lifestyle he detests the most, and depending on your perspective, may give more or less gravity to past songs in which he preaches against drugs and alcohol.  It's chilling, especially for anyone who has experienced substance abuse, psychological problems, or problems adjusting to societal expectation. 


A little background for perspective:  In the 60's, when Heron was a teenager, he was awarded a full scholarship to attend a progressive NYC prep school.  He lived with his mother in Hell's Kitchen- the belly of much crime and poverty.  He went on to Lincoln University, the alma mater of Langston Hughes, and was a casual musician until he met a group called The Last Poets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Poets).  They made such an impression, he asked them if he could form a group similar to their own.  At this time, he also met Brian Jackson, who became his musical partner on many subsequent albums.  Heron made a name for himself in 1969 with his brilliantly satirical, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revolution_Will_Not_Be_Televised).  The cadence of his speech and the fact that he talks over music has led some to give Heron the moniker, Godfather of Rap.  A moniker which, according especially to Heron, is incorrect (see Last Poets, above).  Regardless, the poignancy of the piece was resolute in a time when the Civil Rights Movement was taking a more militant approach.  Heron crystallizes beautifully the irrelevance of white culture in all of it's ridiculous frivolity.  It has become an anthem of sorts for the "radical movement" and is still very powerful, even though his references are somewhat dated and obscure.  He is perhaps the most celebrated and sampled artist of the hip hop world.  Recently found addicted to crack and destitute in the slums (those which are left) of Harlem, Heron has been reclaimed and given voice once more by music producer, Richard Russel.


Heron's work as a whole deftly expresses an existential concern for his own mind, which he reflects against the poverty he's seen around him. He has internalized the black struggle and regurgitates it for the listener in all of it's complication and pain.  These are the blues, reconfigured, reimagined, and poignantly resonant even though the majority of his work is over 40 years old. The Bottle (on both Winter In America- his most critically acclaimed album and It's Your World) has it's obvious meaning, but also describes the isolation of living in a place which you created for yourself which you can never escape.  There is a great desire to escape, but the feeling that escape is perhaps impossible.  In Home Is Where The Hatred Is, Heron assumes the listener is someone who has never experienced heroin addiction, and challenges them to learn how difficult it is to simply, "kick it".  He is viscerally self negating, in a way which humanizes him and reflects a psychological rut which is exemplary of ghetto life.  Compare these lyrics to a contemporary, Stevie Wonder, who is a sort of gilded angel, someone who cries, "Why do things have to be this way", from a position of sympathetic detachment. Heron is empathetic, in a way which Stevie cannot be. Heron embodies impoverished existence, Stevie is more diplomatic, knowing in true Motown fashion, where his bread is buttered.  Meaning, Stevie would never suggest that the problems of the African American community might be the result of white privilege or even a self-perpetuated defeatedness, which Heron suggests throughout his work.  




Heron is a poet, and as a poet, he is able to tap into a collective resonance even with the simplest of sentiments.  His new song:  "I'm New Here", echoes his original spoken word style.  It is redemptive and hopeful.  He is "new" in the sense perhaps that he is new to sobriety, new to society, feels back in the world again after so many years of jail and drug addiction.  It's like he's a patient waking from a coma.  He acknowledges, "no matter how far you've gone, you can always turn around."  It is happy, in the video he's smiling, he looks dead-on at the camera.  Challenging people to define him, for people to tell him he is lost or ravaged, or finished.  Scott-Heron believes that spirits control the life trajectory of humans, and are therefore a common character in his work.  In direct contrast to the hopefulness of "I'm New Here", "Your Soul and Mine" is a dream-like descent into the bowels of Hades.  The gravity of his imagery is much heavier than before, as he now has years of experience which have fortified his voice and his ideas. There is a raspiness and an aged dusty quality which is in stark contrast to the vigorous, nuanced croon of his old work.  It's different from his older work, but wonderful.  Just in a different way.


The best songs on the album are the ones which have minimal accompaniment.  "I'm New Here" is simple, employing a catchy acoustic guitar behind his words.  I also really like, "New York Is Killing Me", which is Heron singing above rhythmic clapping you might hear on a playground.  In a world-weary tone he groans, "Buncha doctor's come around, they don't know that New York is killing me.  I need to go home and take it slow down in Jackson, Tennessee."  That said, it is a bit disappointing that the sound surrounding his voice on the song, "Me and The Devil" and "Where Did The Night Go", are marked by an overly precious banality.  Almost every routine hip hop sound and distortion is employed, short of Autotune.  It is clear that the perpetrators of this background fluff are great admirers, but perhaps that is the problem.  It may be a function of fanboy-itis:  When you work with a fellow artist from a position of worship rather than colleague-ship, the results are bound to reflect this imbalance. 


Videos to "I'm New Here" and "Me and The Devil" are also hamfisted in their visual narration- they almost seem like a parody of what Heron is trying to say.  In "I'm New Here", I find myself alternately fascinated by his expressions and put-off by the overly calculated way in which Heron as a subject is treated.  It is supposed to be a document of Gil in the studio, but instead comes off like an Eric Clapton video from 1992.  "Me and The Devil" is quintessentially and hipsterifically soooo "NY" in a way which perhaps on the surface gives him more of a cheesy modern feel.  Regardless, it seems more like Queer Eye for The Straight Guy coming into his home and repainting his walls to match the sofa.  If you can ignore these piddling annoyances, and focus on his voice and the poetry, "I'm New Here" may redeem your soul.  




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiuorrXsngM  - "New York Is Killing Me"


This is my favorite of all (juxtapose it against Livin For The City, which is interesting):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdhoX1Xu6ZI  - "The Bottle" video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSRyf5G2uI8  -  "Livin for the City" video Motown time capsule


The live version of We Almost Lost Detroit from a concert in 1990- 10 years before his jail stint (I like that he gets up at the end and just starts bopping up and down):



There was an error in this gadget