So weird . . . or perhaps I think I was genuinely OUT-weirded on some level.
Wandering from place to place within the Go Factory yielded hearing completely different sounds, yet you were in the same ROOM, but 3 stages surrounded you, and artists, sculptors, painters, writers, and other musicians who just wanted to sit it out this time. Pete (Gamera) had various films of all of us digitally recorded and began collaging them, layering them, fading them in and out on a big white screen while a man dressed in a shark outfit (John Howitt from Fuzzhead) played a guitar and sung drone-ish lyrics and tones. I saw that screen by wandering from place to place, and heard the vision of the collage, another mind-trip playing with my head. I had no gear with me but a mixing board for Chuck to borrow, and a harmonica in my coat pocket which I put there when I first bought the coat. Didnâ€™t know what to do, but Kyle was playing his Korg keyboard (which he said he wasnâ€™t going to bring this time) so I figured maybe I should do something . . . but not until it feels right.
I was tired and felt energy at the same time, usually the best formula for writing music Iâ€™ve found. The more exhausted I get, the better I seem to write, provided there is a level of energy interested enough to complete a project.
I walked over to Kyleâ€™s stage area where he and Nick and J. Scott Franklin had something going on. Kyle had his sampler out and asked me to play something into a microphone he had plugged into it. So I took out my harmonica and jammed for awhile. I soon realized our sound was coming out of the PA of the other stage area! (Another mind trip) I was so confused, but no one seemed to mind this disturbance. I noticed the drummer was playing the same BPM as our stage area, but their melody was totally different from ours, I couldnâ€™t get over that. I donâ€™t believe that was intentional at all, but I find it harder to believe that was a coincidence. Perhaps it was a subconscious connection of the two COLLECTIVE musical minds, which is something I can swallow, but Iâ€™m choking as it goes down. It gives credence to those who say the unused parts of our brains are finally getting tapped into, and the human terrestrials of this Earth are slowly learning how to communicate telepathically, when their minds are open enough. We seem to be hitting that vibe, that note, that philosophy preached by Ken Kelsey and Tim Lear, how the drug opens the door to what the mind can achieve, and once we learn what the drug can do, we are able to do it ourselves. It seemed like their dream was coming to fruition right here!
Yet with our stage setup, we couldnâ€™t really SEE the others too well, and they couldnâ€™t see us, only HEAR us. This could prove to be distracting. When you canâ€™t see those you are jamming off of, and if youâ€™re anything like me, you get PARANOID that you are disrupting their flowâ€¦even though thatâ€™s partly what the GF is all about, learning how to deal with others who are going to play off your jam, itâ€™s easier to handle when you see their faces, smile, and nod, and become one with them. They become one with you, too, and thereâ€™s no hard feelings. When you canâ€™t SEE them, you are blinded of one of your important senses, and lead to rely on senses that donâ€™t get nearly as much practice because we rely so much on what we visually perceive. Making matters worse, Kyle had samples and samples of various performers who once were in his stage area, but now in another stage area, and I couldnâ€™t tell if I was playing along with samples or with someone who was on another stage. MAYBE I was making someone upset, or maybe I was just playing along with a sampler so who cares anyway.
I moved as far as I could from Kyleâ€™s sampler, stretching out that mica cord, so I could see the people we were jamming with. That made it easy, and their heads were nodding up and down, and they were smiling, and we were indeed one with each other.
I kept jamming on the harmonica, over and over, playing various keys that seemed to fit what both stage areas were doing, fitting their BPM, and becoming one with themâ€¦.my legs took off with my brain, my body danced around and flailed, my head was so filled with this subconscious oneness, this meeting of the minds and the souls, and jolted partly by whatever legal psychedelic of choice I ingested hours beforehand, my mind took off, and as I danced the microphone partly pulled out of Kyleâ€™s sampler, at the same time a guy on the *other stage* with a big bongo drum hit the drum as hard as he could, and feedback ensued . . . vicious uncomfortable feedback. We all stared at each other trying to figure it out. Chuck came running my way waving his hand suggesting â€œstop what youâ€™re doing.â€ He turned off the PA in question, and we found out it was my microphone that caused the feedback, or rather, my partially unplugging it. We plugged it back in, turned the PA back on, and were relieved to find out it wasnâ€™t blown, and the fuses were fineâ€¦they got a little hot but they took it just fine. Chuck said something to the effect of â€œno worries.â€ I was feeling okay about it, but thenâ€¦.
Beating Eric gets on the microphone and asks everyone to thank â€œMr. Everymanâ€ for his fine artistic contribution to the last song. I got a fine applause, too, lots of cheers and smiles. Of course, they were applauding the distracting feedback noise, not anything else we were doing. PARANOIA sets in. I felt like a loose cannon, I was going to go off any minute and do something else wrong. I asked Chuck to let me know if I was becoming obnoxious, and he smiled and assured me everything was fine, and that this factory was going FURTHUR than it ever has, and I helped it happen. You could get lost in words like that. They were as provocative as they were reassuring.
A couple people came charging in who I never saw before. I distinctly remember one of them having the Jesus Christ hair style, long black/brown beard, long black/brown hair. They were running around smoking like crazy, making demands â€œdo you have any TAPE?â€, and generally not introducing themselves to anyone, which was particularly odd when they jumped on other peopleâ€™s gear and didnâ€™t say a word, didnâ€™t even ask. I introduced myself to the Jesus looking guy, who immediately rolled his eyes upon hearing my nameâ€¦a reaction I donâ€™t even get from people I work with, people who donâ€™t even GET me. He kept banging on Kyleâ€™s keyboard, insisting he changes his instrumentation to something else, making demands here and there, and smoking and smoking. His eyes rolled at me like his head rolled everywhere elseâ€¦I began to realize this guy is truly living on another plane, and when I told him my name, he probably heard his own head say â€œyou left the door unlocked at homeâ€, and he rolled his eyes in disappointment at himself. Thatâ€™s a stretch, but the way he was going on, Iâ€™d buy it. (I saw him again two days later at the Fuzzhead CD release party. He remembered me and was really friendly. Then he went freaking out on the floor during one of Fuzzheadâ€™s jams, and kicked a chair with his legsâ€¦.the chair nearly slammed into Chuck who was filming the band by the stage areaâ€¦if it had hit Chuck, it probably would have broke his arm! Chuck gave a â€œwhat the fuck?â€ look, and the guy just kept freaking out.) Life has risks, yeah.
GF5 ended on some weird note of me and CultJam (Lisa) running around with Ryanâ€™s (Thursday Club Ryan) megaphone, going to any microphone we found, barking and howling like dogs, and Chuckâ€™s real dog â€œLouâ€ kept excitedly following us and howling and barking along with us. This seemed to be a huge distraction to Beating Eric, who seemed to want to fly solo on stage with his guitar. While heâ€™s a good friend and a talented artist, I began having thoughts that he is extremely competitive and distracted when the attention isnâ€™t totally on himself. I wasnâ€™t so sure that was the case until he said the line â€œif thereâ€™s anything I learned about myself tonight, itâ€™s that Iâ€™m a VERY talented person.â€ Humorous intentions or honest self-proclamation? PARANOID! Untilâ€¦.right before he left, we hugged, and when I asked â€œdid I do anything tonight to piss you off?â€ he laughed and hugged me again saying â€œthereâ€™s NEVER anything you could do to piss me off, we all connected and had a great time!â€ then he just took off. Those two crazy smoking guys left before Eric didâ€¦.I later realized he was only doing what he was doing to make THEM go away. Or was he really? PARANOID!
Leaving was strangeâ€¦.it wasnâ€™t the usual â€œhang out and chat until 3 amâ€ sceneâ€¦as soon as the music stopped, we all just kinda took off and quickly said goodbye. I vocally expressed how weird that was as we departedâ€¦.CultJam asked me â€œdo you think we were forced out or something? Like they wanted us to leave?â€ I said â€œno, it was just an incredibly odd departureâ€¦we NEVER leave all as a group like that so quickly, so earlyâ€¦.so very odd.â€ Everyone kind of agreed there was something strange about us all packing up and leaving in such an efficient single-file-line manner, but no one felt any hard feelings were left behind, except for me of courseâ€¦until I later talked to the whole group again, Chuck, Pete, Jillian, etc., and I learned they never before felt a more positive vibe all night. There was nothing to worry about, Mr. Paranoia. They were right, of course, it was a positive vibeâ€¦.. but unlike one Iâ€™ve ever felt since I was last at Burning Man, a place where everyoneâ€™s dreams become reality, and youâ€™re walking in and out of them all day, not sure if this is a good thing or not until itâ€™s gone.
It went furthur than it ever did GOâ€¦.. and my mind was hell bent capturing that idea until two days later when we all discussed it as a group. I felt out-weirded, but thatâ€™s not the way to phrase it, no way certainly not.
I *learned* something, or no, I was *cultured* by this experience. Someoneâ€™s art moved me deeplyâ€¦that someone being the whole GO FACTORY collective, everyone who was there to be a part of this experience, they all understand exactly what Iâ€™m talking about, and those who werenâ€™t, are hopefully understanding whatâ€™s going on by my words.
And hopefully, I will stop being so paranoid.