Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Encampment

There are aspects of myself that, while not exactly a state secret, are things that I don't share all that often, as the sharing of them would create impressions and expectations that I really don't want to have attached to myself. So when I say that I am psychic I want it to be understood that, like most psychics, I'm not all that good at it.

I know things. I feel things. I meet someone and have flashes of intuition that are later corroborated when I make gentle inquiries about the individual. I have always done this, it's been a part of my life since I was a child. The trouble with it is that it comes unbidden and I have little control over it. So I have never had any aspirations about starting Ludi's Psychic Hotline and I can't tell you the winning lottery numbers or whether or not you're going to end up roasting in a fiery plane crash when you take your next holiday in Greece.

Along with my annoying ability to turn off street lights randomly when I'm depressed or pissed off, I have the ability to peer into people souls...sometimes. I can also get impressions of places and the residual moods attached to them...sometimes. I frequently can tell when I've irked someone and when they are doing their best to hide's like a little black shadow that skitters over their face while they try to remain composed. Every so often I've asked the person if the last thing I said bothered them and invariably they answer in the affirmative. I've scored high in various tests...especially when I was young.

Crowds are difficult for me: I get dizzy by all the impressions and emotions being tossed about. They drain I avoid them. It has made being a rock musician a challenging affair, and it's one of the reasons I have opted for recording over live work. Plus I hate games and politics. There is that too.

When I was younger I was kind of an open psychic wound and impressions would come to me fairly often and hit me over the head and leave me feeling I gradually closed myself off and put up walls that, due to other aspects of my makeup, were generally only partially effective. But it was something. It helped. Still does.

So having shut myself off as I have it's pretty rare for something to really beat me up anymore, which is why I was so stunned when I recently visited one of my best friends in Minneapolis to see a concert and hang out in general for a couple days.

My friend mentioned that we would be driving past a place called The Encampment...which is an area that the city (being more compassionate than most American cities) has allowed a large assemblage of homeless to live in kind of a tent city. He made mention of this and I thought “well...that sounds like a sad place” and thought nothing more of it.

As we approached the place on my right, I started feeling the old churning in the pit of my stomach. I figured it would end there. It didn't. I was hit with a wave of misery of such overwhelming strength that I had difficulty breathing. I teared up and it felt like my insides were being pulled out of me. I have not felt such a depth of despair since when I learned that my father in law had died unexpectedly.  It was indescribable. It was the soul's equivalent of a heart attack and I'm not exactly sure what it meant.

My friend told me that they have been trying to find housing for these poor people before it gets too cold. I really hope they do. This is a terrible situation for them and I'm unclear as to whether my impressions were due to the ongoing tragedy of being forced to live this way by an economic system run by the calloused and inhumane, or if it was a psychic harbinger of some massive tragedy to come. In either case, I felt that it was worth mentioning this event as I feel that it must mean SOMETHING. There has to be SOME reason why my semi-dormant psychic intuition chose THIS tragedy over all the others increasingly besetting our troubled species and planet.

So I'm putting this out there in hopes that Universe has a purpose for it, as I'm utterly without a clue at this juncture. I've not felt so gutted in years and I hope the city can find help for these folks before it gets deadly cold...and that's only a matter of weeks. If I could guess the lottery numbers I'd house them myself. I'd do a lot of things like that if I had that ability, I suppose.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Obligation by Soft War

This is the second of three songs I'm posting as a tribute to the recently-crossed over John Dennis...a drummer of prodigious talent whose playing has informed much of the work I have done since. A good man and a good friend and an excellent musician.

(This was the big blow-up song we would use to end most of our shows. I always loved watching Greg and John at the end of this tune. I wrote the lyrics about secret societies...years before the internet. We were kinda ahead of our time in some ways.)

Several years ago...sometime around 2011 or so, four members of Soft War decided to rendezvous in Michigan and play four of their old songs...basically to see if they still “had it”. Considering that these four guys had not played together as a unit in almost 25 years, things turned out reasonably well.

The video quality is what it is, but the audio wasn't too terrible...and despite a few little glitches, it was really gratifying to still be a tight functioning until after almost a quarter century.

John Dennis-Drums
Kneil Ivory-Bass
Greg Kutcher-Guitar, vocals
John Ludi-Lead vocals, guitar

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Musical Update, Spring 2018

Finally, more music is coming through! I just started a new studio song for the next album...which is going to be relatively genre-defying...even more so than usual. I find that as the general trend seems to be towards the formulaic, my drive is to ignore all formulas. I've never understood why everyone wants to sound like everyone else...but there are a lot of things about humans I don't understand.

Aside from the odd open mic and potentially busking, I've pretty much given up on the notion of live performance (though that may change if I end up working in Madison or some other larger city with broader tastes than the place I'm at now), so I'm kind of going back to the pure art of things in terms of recording. So what I'm coming up with seems to be a blend of singer-songwriter, jazz, electronica, and things that have no actual description attached to them. They sound like John Ludi...who sounds like himself.

Still plugging away at the Ludi & Fitzpatrick material...a full album's worth should be done in the next few months. Another album consisting of the Calm the Hell Down material should be happening at some point in the not-too-distant future as well.

My ultimate goal for the next couple/few years is to put together a career retrospective representing what will be forty years of recording I'll be dipping into my archives and bringing out some of my older material. Once I have a decent package of 12 or so albums, I'll plop them all on thumb drives and send them out into the world...assuming we still have a world at that juncture...increasingly hard to tell these days.

On that note, another thing that I've given up on is that notion that humanity will ever wake up and learn to live within the gentle constraints of the natural world...we are stampeding in the opposite these days my Big Lifelong Mission of trying to open people's minds to such notions has been largely discarded. I'm sure I'll continue to write songs about such things, but they will be directed towards the alien archaeologists who will translate my words thousands of years from now and say “he seems to have been a bit of a difficult person, but he had a few insights here and there...too bad he exploded along with the rest of them”.

So that's where I am with the music right now. Hope you all are well.

Stop building and buying so much won't actually make you any happier...maybe have fewer kids: they face an increasingly bleak future.