Friday, February 27, 2009

386 : 5/1/99 : The Pill (The Inertia Machine 20/36)

Son you’re mentally ill won’t you please take the pill
I don’t know if I will I prefer where I am I prefer
things dark ma’am there’s no room here for glam
there’s no room now for big hair or train
tracks that go there or blue skies and clean air
He’s a star by his looks I’ve seen his kind in books
I know all his best hooks there’s nothing new
even among the best and he’s just like
all the rest his soul is half undressed by madness
on all sides bordered take it son please it’s just what
the doctor ordered I’d rather be drawn and
quartered take it don’t you know it’s for your good
can’t live if I have to wear that hood my eyes
cleared and I saw where I stood my eyes
looked back behind I saw the moon was
on my mind it hung there like a gnawed-at rind
it hangs around the way it will I watch it
clock and chart its fill until it shines a full round pill
with madness steaming in its gears I shut my
eyes and stop my ears I’m scared enough without
the moon’s fears scared enough to stick out my
tongue let them bust me down another rung
Let them blow the cork and pull the bung and
let it all come boiling out watch out it’ll
be a rout that leaves the strongest man with
little clout watch which pills I’m given
you think this is crazy you should see me when I’m
driven I thrive on forgotten and unforgiven
I drive on and go straight through here to
nowhere me to you the pill the poem and what is true

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, February 26, 2009

385 : 4/30/99 : Signs of Spring (The Inertia Machine 19/36)

You’d think I’d had enough of doom and damnation
You’d think that I’d be ready to relax the rules
But on and on I go this unsuccessful delineation
Of a perfect system of government for fools
Think about wouldn’t you think a clever kid like me
Would finally figure out the scales are permanently bent
Sometimes the chips fall against you other times the ride is free
And when you’re on the skids it does no good to ask where your luck went
I find it hard to believe there’s a hidden meaning in the words I sing
I can’t believe I’m any closer than I was before
What mystification it must be a sign of spring
The way my luck went walking out the door
What does it mean it’s nothing a con job
Pay no attention do not ask about it
Just thinking about it makes the vessels in my temples throb
I want to climb the ziggurat and shout it
That the whole wide world is a maze of misperception
And you cannot lay your and on anything
And if you come around and find a cold reception
Well I guess it just must be the signs of spring

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

384 : 4/29/99 : Strife (The Inertia Machine 18/36)

Given as we were to faction
Given as we were to strife
we found we couldn't pry ourselves
away from all this modern life
Given as we were to dispute
always cutting out our neighbor
we found competition didn't
really optimize our labor
There's always disagreement
Some good reason we can't get along
and you're a bigger fool than I thought
if you think the answer's in a song
Given a fine chance to save the world
we found we can only reflect what we are
disaffected striving blindly
Darkly crossed by some dark star

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

383 : 4/28/99 : Cataract (The Inertia Machine 17/36)

Where is the cataract in my eye
the void that is blocking my vision
between what is perceived to be
and what we hope for and what
it seems could be, there
is the cataract in the
impulse of moments
in a flash of inattention
in the sly assumption of some
universal principle of slack
The gap yawns open and
society falls through the
cracks again

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, February 23, 2009

382 : 4/27/99 : Parthenon Blues (The Inertia Machine 16/36)

1,394 : 31 ?

In the beginning they say
there was one mind one being
The meaning of the division
or separation, or
creation of the many
minds is shrouded in mystery
Lord, it’s not so easy to
know anymore
I wish I was back at the Parthenon
when abstraction had not gotten so far along
Lord there’s just not enough mind
to go around these days
I’m dying for the valleys of my youth
when we stood in the shade of the
fine things we’d made when
the music of the spheres was clearer
I guess if they had the option
they’d take a turn in my shoes
But there’s no trading places this
turn round oh it gives me the Parthenon Blues

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, February 22, 2009

381 : 4/26/99 : The Chaos (The Inertia Machine 15/36)

The Chaos, this pervasive static
cannot completely disguise
The patterns of an underlying meaning
from forming before my eyes
The chaos they say was introduced
by a virus into the system’s core
No one knows whether God or man made it
we just know it wasn’t there before
Under the lens an image coalesces
Like smoke turning to words in the air
Spells out a signal from the heart of darkness
That spins at the center of the Spidergod’s lair
Where do all the useful moments go?
What further process does entropy’s engine drive
They all wind up in heaven you know
Almost nobody gets there alive
I just can’t imagine things being any worse than they are
and if I’m to fall apart that isn’t any great loss
even universes go to pieces by and by
and all around it all dissolves in the Chaos

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Saturday, February 21, 2009

380 : 4/25/99 : The Theory (The Inertia Machine 14/36)

So the theory goes
Each life each mind each moment
is encoded is embedded
is infinitely present in the universal structure
in the fabric of time
so the theory goes
beyond life beyond mind beyond the moment
that is all we can receive
we will all rise again
we will all exist
or to put it another way
we will have already existed
we will all be together
we will all be present
so the theory goes
but proposes no suggestion
of the nature of the being
we shall become

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

379 : 4/24/99 : The Disagreement (The Inertia Machine 13/36)

The disagreement involved a resolution by the
committee to establish a fixed frame of cardinal
directions to be used for the organized division
of known space into a theoretical grid.
It was agreed unanimously that the benefits
of a fixed frame of reference would be
profound in ecumenical studies of astronomy,
temporal logistics, naturally in space exploration.
The disagreement occurred over which direction
was to be deemed “up.” There was a surprising
diversity of opinions on the subject. It was
astonishing how vehemently each participant
held to the particular set of barely
articulated assumptions and cultural
prejudices that gave rise to
a specific definition of up. The entire
project threatened to founder the first
day, before a single point was
triangulated. Fortunately, an older
scholar of spiritual texts, who was there
mainly for the luncheon, suggested they
simply make a new system of measurements -
new cardinal points, new axis coordinates -
and assign them randomly. “Each of
us,” he said, “will in the inmost heart
know which way is truly up.”

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, February 16, 2009

378 : 4/23/99 : Bubblegum Royale (The Inertia Machine 12/36)

1,388 : 25 ?

Isn't it all bright and shining
Isn't it all sharp
Isn't it all precious with the
strumming of the harp
Look at all the fine deceptions
marvel at the sound
Build the better sucker trap
and watch the path they pound
Watch the way they track the next fix
watch them start to drool
Watch the slack-jawed yokels
watch this century's best power tool
All wrapped in an acid treat
your Bubblegum Royale
Your narcissistic, solipsistic
pablum puking pal

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

377 : 4/22/99 : Stupid Pills (The Inertia Machine 11/36)

Honey did you forget to take your stupid pills today
no no not at all first thing in the morning JUST AS
THE DOCTOR PRESCRIBED if i were to forget to
take my pills I should be disturbed by the thoughts
again fearful wondering why I do what I do
why the work I am given seems to bear no
relationship to anything that is real or important
to me NO not at all I took them first
thing and a comfortable cloud of numb
indifference settled around my head
like quick dry cement the cement
of THIS MODERN AGE don’t forget
every day you too missus two
pills every morning keeps away
the NEGATIVE thoughts and terrible
feelings of helplessness JUST LIKE
in convenient jumbo dispensers
lest you forget stupid pills
are the universal anodyne
to the crushing weight of

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, February 12, 2009

376 : 4/21/99 : Blow Your Mind (The Inertia Machine 10/36)

Deep in the trenches of lost Atlantis
a hollow metal sphere
encloses all that was preserved
from the water
The seeds the vestiges of life
that would be lost in the disaster
All the would be lost was preserved
frozen in the sphere
the processes of time were halted
But nature abhors every kind of vacuum
and in this vacuum of time
a strange mold flowered
a glowing blue powder
coated every surface
it’s said that ingesting the smallest
part of the powder
Would blow your mind

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

RPM Challenge Mark II

I decided, after skipping a year, to undertake the RPM Challenge for the second time this year, the annual internet based project inviting musicians and bands to complete a full album from scratch in one month. I posted about my first time around with the project here and here.

There are still copies of this album extant if you feel you have the moral strength of character to endure it. In the latter post there I linked to my music submissions page on Metafilter: there's a little player box at the top of the list of posts. The songs Defeat, Eccentric, Only Civilization and Heat are all from my first RPM album, but I warn you, they aren't exactly pleasant to listen to, created as they were by a method that guaranteed results in terms of getting tracks recorded, but only by sheer stubbornness. The music is being generated more or less randomly by a computer and I am singing to it more or less without rehearsal. Rough stuff. I liked the lyrics I wrote for it, though, I feel like several of them deserve better music. So far this month the writing is going so so, I keep hoping something will gel. But as before, I'll get something down that satisfies the conditions of the challenge, come hell or high water. Honestly if hell or high water actually came I would probably just chuck it.

My RPM profile page is here, its got the archive stuff from 2007 too. I'm going to try to coax slightly more tuneful accompaniment from my newly acquired KORG DS-10 synth emulator. There's an audio file of me dinking around with that on the RPM profile page. If you're not partial to dentist drills you may want to skip the last 30 seconds or so. There is also a half-assed blogging tool because I totally need another venue to explicate the contents of my navel in textual form. With 16 days left to go we'll see how it all pans out.

375 : 4/20/99 : Hole at the Center of the Universe (The Inertia Machine 9/36)

There is a whole a
great dark hole
at the center of the
An unimaginable density
A dark reflection
of the static demise
to come

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

374 : 4/19/99 : Lethemax (The Inertia Machine 8/36)

Don’t let your constant awareness
of the designs and unimaginable interplay
of complex and incomprehensible forces
at work in your life
vex you for a moment longer!
Lethemax acts directly on the brain,
the center of cognitive dissonance,
quieting fears
and putting painful awareness gently to sleep
Recent clinical studies show
that the artifacts of higher awareness
Are leading causes of dissonant stress
and are unnecessary
for happiness and personal fulfillment
Don’t spend another day
asking why

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, February 09, 2009

373 : 4/18/99 : Snatches of Late Television (The Inertia Machine 7/36)

1,380 : 17 ?

What do you want?
Do you want more time for yourself?
Time to do the things that really matter to you?
That’s the way most of us feel...
But the boss never feels that way -
Does he?
You see a complete revolution in
human society is about to occur
We will realize all at the same time
that by understanding what we truly need,
truly desire and truly have
the path to ultimate fulfillment
will quickly become apparent to us.
When does this revolution occur?
When I count to three.
You will know that it has
begun. Take a moment for
yourself now
and say
I am almost ready to begin



You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, February 05, 2009

372 : 4/17/99 : Visionary (The Inertia Machine 6/36)

And the visionary is still
at the center of his sphere
He go no electric light show to distract him
Things to him are exactly what they appear
Visionary got no sockets in his skull
Ain't got no home computer or cellular phone
Visionary got no cable TV
When no one else is with him he's alone
Visionary makes pronouncements
Calling for a higher connection
calling for the real revolution
Calling for the Velvet Insurrection
Visionary takes his stand unseen
Insisting that the whole world come along
And though no one in the whole world can see him
Still there's me to sing his song

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

371 : 4/16/99 : Cold Fusion (The Inertia Machine 5/36)

One of the lost artifacts is a
small plain metal box which
is said to contain the coldest
element in the universe,
a bubble about the size of
a sixty carbon sphere that
contains the universe’s only known point
of sustained absolute zero
in the center of this bubble a
microscopic platinum stylus
holds a single atom of
the most unstable element
in the universe. Ancient
sources claim the element
is accreting particles of time
and that when a critical
mass is reached, the element
and the accumulated time
will fuse into a new form
of matter. Opinions are divided
on the consequences of this
fusion but it is generally
agreed that it will take several
billion more years to occur.

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

370 : 4/15/99 : The Differential (The Inertia Machine 4/36)

A sort of gear was discovered,
a way of warping space so that
the passage of time was altered.
Moments could be slowed down, stopped,
and gently rocked backwards.
They used this phenomenon as the
center of a device called the Differential
The differential was conceived as
the final, ultimate solution
of keeping time. Using a series
of interlocking warped space gears,
any moment of time could be
forced into regression until it
reached the theoretical limit of the
subdivision of time, the so-called instant.
The differential operated such that
intervals of time were measured
using the theorems of calculus
in an experimental subdivision of each
moment into a limit approaching infinity number
of interval-less instants. Unfortunately
there was no way to display the
results of this operation. The
differential was designed only to
keep time. Not to tell it.

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, February 02, 2009

369 : 4/14/99 : The Leisure Machine (The Inertia Machine 3/36)

1,373 : 9 ?

The Leisure Machine
was turned on only

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here