tonight’s #rangothedog rant:
#gigging 10 weeks now, none of the things i’ve worried about for years have been a problem. i’ve dropped my pick (just pawed at it), forgot my fanny pack (where i keep my picks), forgot my lyrics (mumbled something out) and forgot my gear (that’s why there’s two cameras & two guitars at every gig. i can’t afford two amps or two laptops but i would if i could).
no sound checks
social media ignorance
football on tv’s
promised but not paid
paid in [domestic] drinks
paid in drinks then overcharged
paid in overpriced drinks then complained at for not buying food
and my personal favorite:
the fact that i’ve been incorrectly introduced repeatedly as “mike”.
we can do better. at least we are unmuzzled.
#overheard on #facebook:
FM and TV are completely saturated with horrible, emotionless, overproduced shit. live music is where it’s at.
3,000 plays on the first day,
this is our biggest Rangounmuzzled podcast ever.
my #facebook is still popping off,
#twitter not so much \m/~
Rangounmuzzled 75 – Apocalypse Redux 2015
The humans are winning as Rango sews up 2014 and commemorates 75 episodes of indie rock / evil robot mashup comedy. Includes live giblets, an interview with Saint John at the 192 Brewing Company, and the unmuzzled artistry of:
Saint John and the Revelations
Micah X Wyatt
Barry Burford’s Digital Skunk
Matthew Meadows Music
with support from Hal Jester and RingMaster Review
#indie #comedy #hardrock #saintjohn #reputationlabel
#rangothedog, short bio:
Matthew Meadows is a technology mashup artist operating on the fringes of the emerald city of Seattle. A retired #ballet dancer that became a #programmer, he is better known by his nom de guerre Rango the Dog, his original YouTube handle.
He’s a #facebookDJ, the host of the hard rock variety show Rangounmuzzled, and a dedicated singer/songwriter with a loyal ReverbNation following, a #seattle top-10 artist across multiple genres including alternative, blues, rock, comedy, metal and other, with over 1.6 million plays on Fandalism and a recording contract with producer Stuart Epps (Led Zeppelin, Elton John). Widely recognized as @matthew_meadows on #twitter for his forays into writing, acting and directing of musical comedy shorts including #check1_2 and #intothesnow, he was recently featured singing the villain in the science fiction opera #liberteria.
Matthew took the top prize for music at the Worldwide Star Search 2014 showcase, #wwss2014, a judged live performance event in LA. To learn more about Matthew Meadows Music and his old black dog Rango, catch him on social media as #rangothedog or tune in to his blog at rangothedog.com.
at a club, owner tells me
can’t approve my tags,
can only promote certain artists.
who’s promoting whom?
my pages get, conservatively, 10x their daily traffic,
<< not including Rangounmuzzled >>
yes, i played there for free,
i talk about them all the time,
promoted them on my page and on my show,
never got paid, never got a single drink ticket, nada.
spent at least $30 of my own money every time i’ve played there,
and roughly 3,000 impressions this week with their name,
arguably more than they got in all of 2014.
[ sigh ]
ok, fine, you win. no tags. won’t mention you again.
it’s artists vs clubs in the emerald city of #seattle,
no wonder attendence is so low.
there is no solidarity.
sports advertisements and #hawks on the TV,
folks singing their ass off in front of them.
these artists and events will all be part in some form or fashion of Rangounmuzzled content, including images, audio recordings, and interviews, and distributed internationally through The Reputation Label.
congratulations to all the artists on this week’s show, trending towards 8,000 plays in six days, our fastest uptake on a show yet. thank you so much for your tracks, your likes, and your shares \m/~
Rangounmuzzled #74 – #Ferguson is Burning
Rango takes on the divisive #FergusonDecision with unfortunate help from his evil robot Plagus. Featuring the unmuzzled artistry of:
Simon James White (SjW)
The Sunshine Wall
Micah X Wyatt
Saint John(Saint John and the Revelations)
The Barefoot Band
Gregory Boyce Halls (Boyce)
Jack Roberts Harvey Band
Matthew Meadows Music
The People Now
and #rangothedog \m/~
#Ferguson, #FergusonDeciscion, #rangothedog, #ReputationLabel, #TheReputationLabelToday, #indielove, #hardrock, #racism, #comedy, #policebrutality
out-of-the-gate, Rangounmuzzled Ep 73: Beautiful People 2 earns 5,000 plays in 5 days:
Rango’s lost his funny but he’s back on the air with the aid of his evil robot in Beautiful People II, taking care of unfinished business from the end of the summer in LA. Extensive interviews with the mighty Thad Coleman and more first-hand accounts of his experience around at the World Wide Star Search 2014 showcase #wwss2014.
Introduces a selection of immaculate new talent to the Rango Unmuzzled spotlight, and pays respects to my best friend and high-school partner-in-crime Sean Collins. You just might laugh, and you just might cry in this reboot episode from an old, black dog.
Featuring the unmuzzled talents of:
Jack Mustard of Mustard
Mason Randles & The Sunshine Wall
Dirty Mind & Bad Thoughts
TRP (Triage Revival Project)
Barry Burford‘s Digital Skunk
Mike de Velta
Joel A Heslop‘s mr spoon
Andrea Naomi Desmond
and #rangothedog \m/~
#indie, #rangothedog, #reputationlabel, #thadcoleman, #wwss2014
Broadcast LIVE at The Reputation Label.Today on Nov 2, 2014 \m/~
One-world government conspiracy nuts are giving too much credit to people. We’re not that smart, and the truth eventually leaks. We couldn’t keep the Manhattan project secret, or anything else for that matter.
Despite my rants tonight on Twitter and Facebook about the #USA #policestate, I don’t believe that one-world conspiracy baloney for a second. More realistically, our problem is not aliens, incomprehensible evil, or even casual indifference. There are no sheeple, a stupid term from a condescending lot.
The problem is that we’re equally spoiled, violent, and ignorant.
On one axis we are a historically successful economic super power, able to leverage the yields of our predecessors through generations of changes to our economic systems, the benefits of their inertia, and refinements to our thinking. We enjoy the fruits of their labors without even considering their sacrifice, much less enduring it. We are spoiled.
On another axis, we are a people born of violence, children and grandchildren of a bloody revolution, culturally inbred into our spirit over generations. During that time we have been constantly attacked, attacking ourselves, and returning the favor to the rest of the world. We have been at war since our inception as a nation, and the entire world has shared the cost, and the benefit, of those sacrifices, with disproportionate allocations of grief and wheat. We are violent.
Through the magic of abstraction we have also enjoyed the fruits of our labors and the sacrifices of those who came before, without knowing about them. We have an embarrassing pantheon of leaders, pop stars and cultural icons built on history and luck, enjoying all the bliss with very little to say to contribute to the coherence of our relative tranquility since we were all enjoying the benefits of our rarefied position. We are ignorant.
Today in the #policestate USA we have for-profit prisons, with the highest incarceration rate in the world. We live routinely with cops as soldiers, armed and armored emissaries of the state, wielding chemical, electrical, and multiple forms of lethal ballistic weapons, both individually and en masse, with communications networks that allow them to conspire and swarm as commandos against innocent civilians and armed gangs with equal indifference to the law. (Remember, cops are paid to uphold the law, not protect us).
Consequently we have military hardware on our streets, from personnel carriers to attack helicopters and unmanned drones, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Nobody should be surprised, we gave them the authority to do it with open arms at the first sign of fear, when we realized that our ivory towers could fall. But let me assert to you this:
Houston, we have a problem. But it probably won’t become a problem until it affects you directly (and it will, soon enough, God forbid). More people are going to die before it gets better. This prediction is predicated on my own personal, subjective experiences, which would likely shock you, and the obtuse fact that more civilians have died in the #policestate USA at the hands of cops in the last 10 years than all the soldiers and civilians killed in both of our wars on terror combined.
Think about that.
What was the risk calculation going to war that day? What is your risk calculation going to work today?
And what is the fundamental theorem of calculus, anyway?
Scratch that last question. As i said, we’ve been giving the conspiracy theorists too much credit. But don’t scratch this one:
“What are we going to do about it?” – Dire Straits, Romeo & Juliet \m/~
Having just enjoyed the carnal pleasure of a sneak preview of Mustard’s new video, Dark Lit Bar, these words ring more true today than the day they were posted on Facebook:
“I want to be Jack Mustard for a day.” – #rangothedog
There was already consensus around the initial uptake on the song Dark Lit Bar when it was rolled out on The Reputation Label’s RangoUnmuzzled radio show. I can paraphrase it this way, based on comments heard from the women in our audience, all of which were unsolicited and some quite unseemly (keep ‘em coming):
That song is hot.
And indeed it is. But the video punches up the heat to a completely different level by bringing a disruptive factor to the equation: Jack Mustard himself. Take a phenomenal physique worthy of an MMA fighter, mix it with the the kind of charisma you’d expect on the late-night talk show circuit, add a hand-picked selection of female talent willing to drive home the point of his lyrics, and the outcome is red-hot.
Mind you, he does it with class, delivering the essentially sensual without crossing the line, in a manner that pays homage to Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible. It’s tasteful, a hell of a production, and quite a privilege to view it first. And it’s entirely possible Jack Mustard will end up a folk hero for his efforts, mark these words:
“That song was playing on the radio the day we met” – future parents
Ladies, you’ve been warned, please dress inappropriately before you go into Jack Mustard’s Dark Lit Bar \m/~
Rangounmuzzled ep 72 – beautiful people
Rango gets on a plane and flies to LA in order to participate in the Worldwide Star Search 2014 showcase, #wwss2014. He ends up hanging out with long-time friend, ex-roomie and bandmate, the mighty Thad Coleman, waxing poetic on My Life as a Musical. Part I of II, featuring the unmuzzled artistry of:
Digital Skunk‘s Barry Burford (Stinktier & Honig)
Matthew Meadows with Stuart Epps and John Marter
Patrick Kindy & Friends at I.R.L(In Real Life) Infinite Vision Productions
Broadcast LIVE here on 09/01/2014:
Sharing on Fandalism here, 1,500+ plays in the first 24 hours:
Download from Soundcloud directly here:
Learn more about the World Wide Star Search here:
…and please join me here for show previews, the metalish, love songs and something your mom wouldn’t like:
Last weekend I was thrilled to get the opportunity to participate in the World Wide StarSearch 2014 showcase, #wwss2014.
The chance to fly to Los Angeles and present your full hand of entertainment skills to a select group of VIP’s doesn’t come along every day. In my case it’s been roughly thirty years since the time I started seriously dancing and playing guitar, and it all came to focus last weekend.
I don’t dance anymore, and I’m too old for the modeling runway. But I elected to participate in the music showcase, as well as the perform a monologue, 30 seconds of live event hosting, and commercial taping.
The commercial taping was the most straightforward since we were provided scripts. That was a matter of memorization, not my strong suit. I waffled on the decision to inject a funny line, not sure what the judges were looking for. The scripted line was “you deserve more than 15 minutes of fame” and my alternate was “you deserve more than 15 minutes of fame, and so do I“, gratuitiously referencing my comedy short Operation Rango: Check 1,2 in an oblique fashion. But when push came to shove and the little red light came on the camera, I screwed up roughly half the lines, but just kept talking, as I tend to do.
Nothing funny, just rolling with it. Par for the course.
The event hosting played better to my comedy interests. I decided to wing that one, treat it as a radio show. I only had a topic in mind, Dichotomous We, a dating service for bipolars. I can be self-deprecating and talk about bipolar disorder all day long, so 30 seconds was a breeze. Happy to settle for the sound of knowing laughter from the audience as I walked off the stage – everybody knows somebody that’s bipolar – and call it good.
I knew I had a major challenge in front of me with the monologue. The extent of my monologue experience involves Operation Rango: Into the Snow and such, all written and directed by me. So I reviewed dozens of film favorites and commited several to memory, including zingers from Almost Famous and American Beauty. But when I learned a film crew was going to be there I started scripting my own, a comedy. I tried some bits out on the radio show, which fizzled, and then with a friend in the industry, which fizzled harder. But he gave me some solid advice: drop the comedy, be yourself.
That was very difficult. I wrote a monologue called My Life as a Musical, no stranger to regular readers of the blog. My first crack at it took me 4 hours and stretched over 800 words. It took a week to trim it down, and after seemingly endless hours of recursively getting rid of flowery adjectives and unnecessary details, I ended up with a monlogue in two Acts. I created a corresponding video for Act I with titling and imagery to test the timing and impact of the language, and committed it to memory.
Before the showcase, I only ever recited it in the car.
“The best take you will ever get is the one in the car before the audition.” – Lifetime casting director Linda Berger
Standing in the wings before my monologue delivery, I realized there was one line in it that was making me choke up. I couldn’t decide whether or not to say the line or not, but in the end, it didn’t matter: I forgot to say it. Either acting fail or subconciously protecting myself from falling apart, the words “I never danced again” never crossed my lips. Still, I swallowed my nerves and delivered the lines as best I could, then finally came around to shaking nervously after I walked off stage.
I just listened to my performance, and I can tell you that without that line, it fell flat.
As for the music, having lost both my rabbit and my muse within a week of each other, I had been on hiatus from guitar for over a year. That was it for me and my guitar, so I turned to my work as a computer programmer. But knowing this event was around the corner motivated me to pick it up again with a very specific focus. So each day I played, and decided on three originals and one cover to perform.
For those entering the music category, the showcase only promised the opportunity to audition one minute of one song on Friday night. Finalists would be chosen from those performances, and play for the VIP’s during the Saturday showcase, so the selection of the first song was absolutely critical.
I chose carefully: Dobro Love for its vocals, Smokehouse for guitar, and Unsound for the hook, in that order. But you only get one, so Dobro Love.
That decision was reversed by input from my friends and family. I ran my set by Whiskey Tex, my brother, and my close friend in the industry. Of course my daughter was around during the rehearsals so she chimed in, too. Their decision was unanimous: open with Unsound.
Not what I expected. Unsound is the first complete song I ever wrote, roughly 15 years ago, and as an artist you want to believe your newer material is more compelling. And it had some serious strikes against it: it was written in an instant, none of the lyrics repeat, and the guitar work was rudimentary compared to the intricacy of Smokehouse. But when posed with the [paraphrased] question from Whiskey Tex, “what impression are you trying make?”, the answer had nothing to do with showing guitar technique, vocal range, or songwriting skill, but came down to this:
I want to be unforgettable.
You don’t have to look far to find a better guitarist, vocalist, or songwriter. So rehearsing with a focus towards impressing on any one attribute really only increases the risk that you’ll be measured by a skill that you’re marginal at, with no frame of reference for how important that is for those observing you.
Given that, my advisors were right, Unsound was the better opener. Better to go for the triple threat, because even if each of them is marginal, there is a lift associated with each successive element you attempt.
So at least I had a rehearsal strategy for the music. I started right there, fat-fingers and all. I sat myself down on a chair, front and center. Over days I added more pressure in the form of lights, camera, action. It did not go well.
“That was horrible. Better not to have auditioned at all.” – Whiskey Tex
“Don’t mess up your own lyrics, that will kill you.” – my brother
“Have you ever played this song, once, ever?” – #rangothedog
I played right up until the morning I got on the plane to LA. I recorded a bunch of sessions and I’ve listened to all of them since I got home. I’ve never once played Unsound like I did at the showcase. The performance pressure and audience feedback was reflected directly in the music in a way that was unique, and for the better, on a song that had gotten stale over more than a decade, but is perhaps more relevant to me today than the day I wrote it.
I had a great show, and the judges were very kind: I took home top honors in music. But the best performances for everybody were actually the encores on Sunday, after the VIP’s were gone and it was just back to the friendly forces in the audience. It was all performers and their families, and the rehearsals and suspense of the competition were over.
We had all watched each other perform monologues, hosting, commercials and runway skills, under crushing pressure, with some brilliant performances. But the encore performances were an opportunity to cut loose, and we did. A rising tide lifts all boats, and everybody was feeling it, so congratulations to the producers of World Wide Star Search 2014 and its predecessors, reaching back 16 years to 1998, that really was an amazing weekend.
I’m not sure how the script goes for Act III, I haven’t gotten that far along yet. But I know it’s already started, so we’re going to have to wing it. With any luck, maybe I’ll fly away \m/~
“The lights go up, the clowns tumble in, with painted on faces, and blue-collar grins” – ringmaster
Rango is waiting for his brother to arrive on a plane, but leaves the show to Plagus who doesn’t even understand the concept. Featuring the unmuzzled artistry of:
M. James & the Significant Mothers
Budd Zunga & DR. Budd Zunga’s Labratory of Sound
Stinktier & Honig / Barry Digitalskunk Burford
Broadcast LIVE at The Audioburger 08/10/2014
shared on Fandalism:
download from Soundcloud: