- A number of years ago, a friend turned me on to Spacemen 3. My first impression was that they were on a lot of drugs. Then I realized they were singing about Jesus, which I thought was a joke. After a dozen or so songs, I realized they were sincere, which made me love them that much more. Massive drug abuse and metaphysical devotion go together like cornbread and beans. And the Spacemen know how to drive a fuzzbox.
- I had a conversation with Ira Kaplan once, when I was eighteen, during the course of which I asked him for his thoughts on distortion pedals. Mr. Kaplan advised me to get a Rat. I took his advice and purchased a Rat distortion pedal, which proved to be perfectly adequate, though not spectacular. I don’t know what happened to that pedal. I assume I sold it for drug money.
I find it amazing that the guitar-destroying, feedbacking maniac whose opinion I sought regarding distortion pedals devolved into the gutless, twee pantywaist he is now.
- I have a young, female friend who I regularly refer to as “my taxidermist”. I am, of course, capable of doing my own tanning and such, but I have numerous demands on my time and she really enjoys working on the various specimens I take to her, mostly roadkill. I pay her with doe skulls, which are very easy for me to obtain and which she sells via the internet to people who want animal skulls but who are too lazy or stupid to go out to the country and find a place where poachers dump their carcasses after cutting out the loins.
I’ve known her for several years. For most of that time, she seemed to be kinda drifting, in the beery way that people in their twenties often do, just sorta stumbling through life with no real drive or direction. Then, she got into roller derby which gave her some motivation and purpose. More recently, she discovered her love of working with dead animals. She isn’t licensed to practice taxidermy, but she’s working on that and getting practical experience on anything she can get hold of – mice, rabbits, raccoons, deer. I took her a fox t’other day, which she’s going to pelt for me. She showed me her basement workspace. She’s got skulls in various stages – bear, coyote, the biggest buck ever taken in Rockingham County.
It’s wonderful to see someone find their thing, their passion. Especially when it benefits me so directly.
- I know this guy. He’s a big galoot, lotta tattoos, shaved head, red laces in his Docs. I didn’t say we were friends. We were talking recently, about spiritual matters. I was not at all surprised when he mentioned his interest in Odin, Thor and the rest of the Norse pantheon. I can understand why racists are so into Norse mythology – it’s pretty fuckin’ badass and the Vikings were pretty fuckin’ white. It’s too bad though – means that the rest of us have to avoid getting tattoos of Mjollnir. Also, the swastika is an ancient and wonderful symbol which has been usurped by Nazi assholes, although the Buddhists and Hindus continue to use it. Actually, we should all start using swastikas and valknuts to decorate our bodies and homes. Fuck Nazis. They shouldn’t get anything.
- There is, somewhere on the internet, a review of My Goddess Has A Crazy Bush, the first in the “Crazy Bush” compilation series. It is a generally positive review. The only track the reviewer didn’t like was BDSR’s “Prayer To Humankind (Medicine Story)” which consisted of a looped sample from Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” under this Espresso Shaman reading “Prayer To Humankind” by Medicine Story. It is the simplest, most direct track BDSR has ever done and is 100% sincere. The reviewer said it was like “Beck reading New Age Scientology”, or something like that. I don’t recall his exact words. I didn’t address it because the review of the comp was positive, but I would like to state here, for the record, that if anyone calls BDSR “New Age” or suggests that I am in any way like Beck to my face, I will stomp a mudhole in their ass.
- It’s a well-known fact that I am a devotee of distortion. There is no logic or rational underlying my love of fuzz – it’s purely emotional, visceral, perhaps animal, sometimes physical. That’s the case with the guitar on certain tracks, by Zambian psych outfit WITCH. I experience the lead in “Home Town”, for example, in about the same way I experience nipple stimulation – so overwhelmingly pleasurable that my body recoils from it.
- There are a number of BDSR tracks that have the word “brown” in the title – “Brown Sabbath”, “Brown Wadada”, “Sweet Brown Angel ‘N Heavy Syrup”. That comes from my nom de guerre, Brown Hat, but also from brown as the color of dirt, trees, many animals and general earthiness. Brown is also the color of shit – the phrase “brown hat” can refer to the poo that is on the head of a penis when it is removed from an asshole – which dovetails with the BDSR tenet that all natural things are sacred, even poo.
(This is as good a place as any to state that we of The Big Drum In The Sky Religion hold and affirm that the Absolute, Infinite and Eternal, Ineffable and Inconceivable, Divine Mystery which created, supports, infuses and is the entirety of all that is and more, is not offended or harmed by, nor is in any way concerned about, whether or not somebody fucks somebody in the ass. It really doesn’t matter that much. Have at it. Obviously, we as mere humans are stoutly in favor of all the standard consenting adults, not scaring the horses kinda jazz, but otherwise, do it in the ass all you want. There is, by the way, no good reason to brag about it, post pics to the internet or start a porno-grind band dedicated to it and we really wish you wouldn’t because all that does is reinforce the dominant paradigm and encourage people to pay any attention whatsoever to porno-grind, which is a completely useless and puerile form of expression. It may seem that this Espresso Shaman, by assuming the nom de guerre “Brown Hat”, is bragging about it, but that is not the case. The name “Brown Hat” properly derives from the fact that said individual frequently wears a somewhat battered, broad-brimmed, leather hat which is brown. It is true that we are amused by the fact that the phrase “brown hat” also refers to the poo that may be on a dick after ass-fucking, but that’s incidental and kinda punk in a way.)
As any artist knows, colors are frequently shown on a color wheel. The colors that are opposite each other on the wheel – red/green, yellow/purple &c – when mixed together always make brown. So brown can also stand for the mixture, or integration, of opposites – male/female, good/evil, yin/yang.
And it hearkens back to a minor epiphany I had as a teenage dishwasher in one of my many restaurant jobs. A server set down a bunch of coffee cups, each one partially full and each one containing a different ratio of coffee to milk, ranging from off-white to black, which in the case of coffee is actually very dark brown. When I looked at the coffee in the cups, I saw the full range of skin colors from albino to Ivory Coast. Obviously, Asians and Native Americans were not represented in the coffee/milk, but my brain automatically included them. I knew before then that all people are of the same substance regardless of their hue, but that illustration slammed it home. Coffee is, as you may know by now, a sacrament of The Big Drum In The Sky Religion, which had not yet been conceived when I was a teenage dishwasher, but which nevertheless existed in potentiality, so having the races of humanity vividly portrayed in the tones of this divine substance was a real eye-opener. All human beings are some shade of brown.
Great quotes by me:
“Knowing isn’t half the battle. Killing half your enemies is half the battle.”
“’Pessimism’ is what idiots call realism.”
“Coffee is proof that God loves us and wants us to be awake.”
Brown Hat the Espresso Shaman
The pun is always intended.