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the bended martinis & how to be the oldest living human vs. off-putting approaches to eastern studies & ONE DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO, scott richard | by torbakhopper
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the bended martinis & how to be the oldest living human vs. off-putting approaches to eastern studies & ONE DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO, scott richard



in a chamber

wire train



when i was teenager, two of my favorite 80s bands were wire train from san francisco and a san diego local band called ARMY OF LOVE. of the two, wire train made it the furthest toward be heard by "the many".


i wish army of love had been HEARD by many...


in 1989 i was at a house party in our fair city of San Francisco and the members of wire train were there. it was after they had had a shot and been passed over. and like lloyd cole or other talented and ambitious people who had thrown themselves into the music and the industry churn, they had survived differently by not succeeding.


and this eventually becomes the art of rediscovering the past.


driven by their philosophy of life, the band has a special place in american new wave music -- you can hear the birth of the alternative music scene in their contribution. there are overlays of the church, the alarm, big country, the replacements, brit pop echoes of the kane gang, king, the three o'clock, the stone roses, etc.


but then your realize that they aren't really echoes at all.


these songs were being created at the same time or before others we find more popular. this album predates A-ha by two years, for example, but you can hear how the use of the same equipment was starting to drive beats toward the big split in music -- the synthesizer machine versus guitar-driven pop.


guitar-driven pop ended up mutating through the pixies into the HIGHLY depressing grunge music. the guitar got dark and dirty and dead endy.


on the other hand, the SYNTHESIZER movement was DRIVEN BY NEW DRUGS and the fascinating new "fetish of familiarity" and repetition through loops and drum&bass math.


at this point, the new technology was moving away from the EAR ONLY concept of music which is rather hateful to music itself, so i think the movement away from EAR ONLY toward the inclusion of our technological power to mark and measure music so that it can be seen like an image that moves. the math of music becomes a visual pattern.


this MASSIVE shift gave everyone a bump in the musically intelligent world.


people like me who have no real gifts for EAR ONLY musical education could suddenly understand the machinations behind the math of music by seeing the "numbers" and the "timing" and learning to work against that instead of being pitch perfect or spot on through EAR ONLY skills or natural attributes.


all DJ craft became a HYBRID of this new art form of commingling EAR ONLY skills with the new visual framework of interoperation.


mostly because DJS were going back and EXTRACTING these same number values from other people's work -- that's called sampling, but really you're just stealing musical information in the same way an artist goes down and buys paint.


one day people won't probably be overly obsessed with liquitex or winsor newton when they talk about art. they won't be more than scientifically concerned with the producers of the resources used to make art.


so is the logic of the dj -- the music is everything and intellectual property rights AREN't. it's fking obvious, so steal away. and this is truly progress.

not making cemeteries.

that's protectionistic fears of centuries of intelligent misunderstandings.


we don't need cemeteries anymore.

they are heinous and odious and if they are our ONLY connection to death, we're fkt.

cuz cemeteries are MUSUEMS of DEATH and MEMORY.



here is a rare recording from ARMY of LOVE

they were a "born again" band that started fusing punk and new wave sounds in 1983.

their lives shows were insanely revivalist for the crowd goers.

they would play down in pacific beach in some strip mall church that was a popup thing in the 80s in southern california.


most of the kids who went to these shows were already gravitating toward the harder punk rock scene so ARMY of LOVE was a gateway band of sorts for unknowing xians to convert over to the punk rock/new wave movement that was racing around san diego. but they would rock out these little sterile venues with overhead fluorescent lighting and bare walls with folding chairs. and they got progressively more popular with a more secular crowd of rebellious youth.


in england, a very similar band was formed the same year -- the cult -- and they were much more successful without the xian trappings. but the same kind of musical ferocity was present in both bands. sadly, this song isn't the best on the album but a 00:2:36 you can get a glimpse of the revivalistic kick that was common to their sound.


i actually own a copy of this album in a storage unit somewhere and should make an effort to unearth it...


anyway, back to wire train.

the craft of their songs is beautiful and implicity different from those other artists -- they are working with a spectrum that fills out their sound differently than those artists which have gained the popular ear of the human consciousness.


on this album, if you listen closely the use of all the same tools is present and WIRE TRAIN uses all those tools -- and they add the transcendental power of successful lyricism. they are blowing the glass in the molten energy of the time in which they existed.






one day in san francisco


the city of san francisco is being replaced by SF MET.


and it’s a wonderful thing.

and it really sucks for a lot of city people.


cites and metropoleis are very different from one anther.


in what we think of as the BENJAMIN BUTTON COMPLEX, metropoleis are rather infantile compared with the energy of cities, which are more like teenagers. so there is a reverse=aging process that takes place. as cities die, they molt. and the death of the city is replaced by the arrival of thousands and and eventually hundreds of thousands of people.


these new people have no experiences with the city or the “LIFE OF THE CITY” which is ITS history, its stories, its memories that INFUSE the city people with ITS OWN FAMILIARITY. this is what makes a city.


when cities get too big and the outside forces of CONSUMER POWER INVASION decide its a big enough “market” to invade, they send their GLOBAL PILOT STORES and vices — high-end luxury art, gluttony of food fetish markets, COCAINE, and new technology.


of these invasions, new technology is the one you really want.


the way to “get ahead” as a collective is to be A WISE EARLY ADOPTER.


by choosing intelligent adoptions of the intellectual gifts of new technology, the chooser can pull leaps and bounds in the gaming world of commodities.


and now we have invisible commodities.




and it’s one of the human foibles that grows out of the “people who need people are the loneliest people in the world” condition.


and there are a surprising number of people who can’t be peopleless without melting down. they don’t know how to be alone and content. or alone around others and content to just VIBE off of others without having to do entanglement or enstranglement kung fu against their fellow human.


which is only as sad as the number of tears each human will cry in their lifetime.


we know tears dry and can be replaced by the impact of shame, sorrow, grief, loss, joy, bewilderment, awe, fear, etc.


so cry your tears and maybe then, after all you tears have dried, you will walk outside and see the world in which you are choosing to live.


choices are black and white.

the reasons why we make them are gray.


here is ONE DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO with open eyes.

see how much you can see?


the wonder of all things is constantly smothering us with options.


when the beatles said, let it be, they meant it as they were.


i say, stop being, let the world be unto you instead.

go sit somewhere until you are the oldest living human to pass through that space. and then you will feel a joy you’ve dreamed of knowing.


don’t grow fking snails on your head.

just start with sitting in a park or a busy public space and watch around you.

smile and the world smiles with you.

sit, rest into your position and watch as you become the oldest living human as the rest of the world walks by and abandons the space.


and you will know when you become the oldest living human in the space.

the space itself will occupy you and you will FEEL what it means to let the world become “that being yourself” bullisht that everyone talks about. but you will know without all the fking crap they add to it — the stillness, the peace, the tranquility. fk that. it’s stupid.

it’s like people in the 70s who would tell us that if we did LSD the sidewalk would turn into a giant snake and eat us or we’d think we could fly and jump off tall buildings and die.

fking stupid lies that apply to a fractional percent of any users of LSD. and by fractional, i mean less than one percent of one percent.


but you don’t need LSD.


try sitting in a public space and just bemusing your self and luxuriating in any thoughts that you have while you’re sitting there.


we are trained to “keep moving” so at first this may be uncomfortable to do. but not if you really commit because it’s pretty awesome to just CHECK IN with everything around you and to watch as you become the oldest living human in the space. you see so much happening that you start to get a handle on the geography — i used to sit in all manner of spaces in manhattan the busiest areas and just fall into great reverie. the best spot in times square is this crazy staircase tuckaway near the wax museum. that’s all i’m gonna say, but it’s very much a church of this art in its own way.


but you can do this ANYWHERE in a public space where humans are.

and from this initial contact with what the eastern traditions call “meditation”, you will see the edges of their perceptions more clearly.


so go to a mall, go to the beach, go to a cafe, go anywhere that is filled and unfilled with the traffic of humanity. once there, find a good place that is comfortable and hold your position. look around and explore the visual stories and signifiers of the people going by. be aware of those who are also not moving. wait until you are the oldest living human.


feel free to let me know about your experience.



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Taken on January 19, 2018