#policestate USA

Rango the Dog

Rango the Dog

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.

"we are spoiled" - rangothedog

“we are spoiled” – rangothedog

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).

tiananmen square, american style

tiananmen square, american style

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/~

World Premiere Video: Jack Mustard’s Dark Lit Bar

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:

Jack Mustard

Jack Mustard

“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 Episode 72 – Beautiful People

Rangounmuzzled ep 72 – beautiful people

The Mighty Thad Coleman

The Mighty Thad Coleman

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:

Shade Law
Andrea Desmond
Jess McAllister
Johndus Beckman
Shawnee Kilgore
The Mothership
Alyse Black
Digital Skunk‘s Barry Burford (Stinktier & Honig)
Hetty Bryce-Lane
CIVILIZED TEARS
Matthew Meadows with Stuart Epps and John Marter
Patrick Kindy & Friends at I.R.L(In Real Life) Infinite Vision Productions

#audioburger #rangothedog #thadcoleman #mylifeasamusical #indie #comedy

Broadcast LIVE here on 09/01/2014:
http://audioburger247.webs.com/rango

Sharing on Fandalism here, 1,500+ plays in the first 24 hours:
http://www.fandalism.com/rangothedog/dbaF

Download from Soundcloud directly here:
https://soundcloud.com/matthewmeadowsmusic/episode-72-beautiful-people-i

Learn more about the World Wide Star Search here:
http://www.worldwidestarsearch.com/

…and please join me here for show previews, the metalish, love songs and something your mom wouldn’t like:
http://www.reverbnation.com/matthewmeadows

\m/~(-.-)~\m/

In the Spotlight at World Wide Star Search 2014

 

#rangothedog at #wwss2014

#rangothedog at #wwss2014

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.

#rangothedog, My Life as a Musical Act IThe 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.

Snapshot000047

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:

#rangothedog at #wwss2014

#rangothedog at #wwss2014

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.

#rangothedog and Jaysen Kim at #wwss2014

#rangothedog and Jaysen Kim at #wwss2014

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

Rangounmuzzled episode 71 – #brother

Rango Unmuzzled Episode 70: On a Leash

Episode 70 - On a Leash

Episode 70 – On a Leash

Rangothedog is back in the saddle, bringing you the best of the Whiskey Tex music listening experience and giving Plagus a spankdown along the way \m/~

Ever-so-android
Matthew Meadows Music
HYPE!
Quick Wicked
Jack Roberts Harvey Band
Jenni French
Johndus Beckman
The Mothership
The People Now
Alyse Black
#rangothedog
(more from Matthew Meadows Music)

Broadcast LIVE at The Audioburger 08/03/2014
the new show rolls out here, every Sunday:
http://audioburger247.webs.com/rango

episode 70 on Fandalism:
http://www.fandalism.com/rangothedog/c7CU

episode 70 on Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/matthewmeadowsmusic/rango-unmuzzled-episode-70-on-a-leash

episode 70: images on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/matthew.meadows/media_set?set=a.10204339288860966.1073741932.1191910892&type=1

Rango Unmuzzled: Father’s Day LIVE from Washington, DC

 

Father's Day LIVE from Washington DC

Father’s Day LIVE from Washington DC

Rangounmuzzled #68 – Father’s Day LIVE from Washington DC

Rango pulls out all the stops in this live broadcast from Washington DC, with a full plate of hard rock, all the sexy in the house, commentary on commendable fathers, the tragic customer service situation at T-Mobile, and a copiously long rant about the state of affairs in the USA touching on Iraq, Syria’s chemical weapons, the abject failure and lies of the Bush administration, the crisis in Obama’s leadership, the flow of military technology from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to local law enforcement, the outrageous arrogance of Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, and all things internet as per Wayne Glad Stone‘s 5-star treatise “notes from the internet apocalypse”.

Father's Day LIVE from Washington DC

Father’s Day LIVE from Washington DC

Featuring the unmuzzled artistry of:

Quick Wicked
Spank
Jonny Smokes
Glenn Cannon‘s Windowpane with Tony Abreu
Joe Funktastic
Saint John and the Revelations
Sweet Davis
Hetty Bryce-Lane
Jed McConkey
Simon James White‘s SjW
Carlos Wilde
#rangothedog
Matthew Meadows Music
Ever-so-android featuring Drew Murray and Hope Simpson
HYPE!
Steve Gardner & The Condition
Jenni French & Matthew Meadows
Johndus Beckman
The Mothership with Will Andrews
Joe Sabatini‘s Radio Silence
Garth Hockersmith and The People Now (makeup by Robyn Wilson)
Rain Light Fade
Justin E Kautzman
Joel A Heslop‘s mr spoon
Barry Digitalskunk Burford ( aka dubby, he’s a genious  )
Katsumi Yoshihara ( nicest guy on facebook / #guitarhero )
Flygone
Steve Costello ( resident prodigy )
and
the Jack Roberts Harvey Band

with shout-outs to Annmarie Champness of the emerald city illuminati and Xana La Fuente (sorry about your underwear drawers).

#audioburger #fathersday #indierock #rangothedog #washingtondc #justice#america #obama #bush #iraq #syria #peoriamayor #jimardis #tmobile #sex#domination #themistress #dominatrix

Fandalism
http://www.fandalism.com/rangothedog/c1HG

Soundcloud
https://soundcloud.com/matthewmeadowsmusic/rango-unmuzzled-68-fathers-day

Spreaker
http://www.spreaker.com/user/reputationmedia/fathers-day-live-from-washington-dc_3

Broadcast LIVE from Washington, DC at The Audioburger:
http://www.audioburger.com/

Rango Unmuzzled #67 – Solar Roadways

Rango follows up the big night at Seattle’s Unfuck the World event by losing all sense of time on the DJ console. A sprawling 3 hour show with a tribute to Garth Hockersmith, Johnny Smokes and The People Now, with segments on war, rocketism, and straight-up sexy. Includes blatant revisionist history, songs that did not happen on the live show, and the unmuzzled artistry of:

Rango Unmuzzled 67

Rango Unmzzuled 67

Garth Hockersmith & The People Now
Jonny Smokes
Rain Light Fade
Savage Henry
Jack Mustard
Quick Wicked
Ever-so-android ( Drew Murray & Hope Simpson )
Johndus Beckman
Janey Neal
HYPE! 
Spank
Shallow Point
John Summers
Carlos Wilde
Sweet Davis
Joe Gande
Jack Roberts Harvey Band
Steve Costello
The Adarna
Joe Sabatini‘s Radio Silence
The Starving Artists
The Mothership with Will Andrews
Windowpane
Matthew Meadows / Stuart Epps / John Marter
Ben Badenhorst
Budd Zunga from DR. Budd Zunga’s Labratory of Sound
and
Simon James White‘s SjW

#audioburger #rangothedog #rangounmuzzled #studio7 #unfucktheworld#indierock #thepeoplenow #jonnysmokes

 

Rango Unmuzzled 67

Rango Unmuzzled 67

shared on Fandalism:
http://www.fandalism.com/rangothedog/c0My

archived on Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/matthewmeadowsmusic/rango-unmuzzled-67-solar-roadways

original Spreaker podcast:
http://www.spreaker.com/user/reputationmedia/episode-67-solar-roadways_1

broadcast LIVE at The Audioburger on 06/08/2014
http://www.audioburger.com/

5x the #Fail with T-Mobile

 

Make the Call

Make the Call

T-Mobile you should be ashamed of your customer service.  Today was a disaster, $150 to “service the warranty”, apparently a standard deductible for garbage these days.

I thought I paid for the top-shelf warranty, best I could get.  Turns out it wasn’t very good, again.

They’re telling me because this phone has minor cosmetic damage to the display that they won’t honor the warranty, even though the reason we’re bringing it in is because the cheap micro-USB adapter socket is munged and the thing won’t except a charge.

 

Rango the Dog

Rango the Dog

This is why they’re losing my business forever.  This my 5th phone that’s failed from them, and they’ve never once given me respectable service.  I’ve never walked out of one of their stores with a replacement phone, and their coverage area here in the Seattle area is absolutely dreadful!!!  I’ve never once seen 4 bars on my phone, even right by their offices in Bellevue, and at my house in Kenmore 10 miles away i get zero bars consistently.

I’ll take this one step further and point out that the people working the customer service counter at the Totem Lake Store were horribly inept and indifferent to the contiuum of product failure and miserable customer service.  All they did was give me an 800 number to call and try to shoo me away from the counter (the “warranty service number” was closed for the evening). What’s really shameful is that they sell you on this notion that you’ll be able to get service at their stores,  as if you can just bring your phone in and they’ll be able to help you.  Actually they just outsource it to a third party that sends you to a website that sends you to an 800 number that sends you to voice mail jail.

Fortunately there’s an AT&T store in the same shopping center.  I’m switching as soon as i can get out of my awful contract with them.  They’ve failed in every respect, service area, quality of product, and customer service, as long as I’ve been an unhappy customer, which is since day one.

Previously:

http://rangothedog.com/2013/10/08/t-mobile-epic-cutomer-support-fail-4/

Also previously:

http://rangothedog.com/2012/12/27/t-mobile-go-screw/

(Yes there were three more previous incidents of phone failure, all with equally horrible customer service.  I’ll spare you the boredom)

\m/~(-.-)~\m/

Rango Unmuzzled: Rocketman Redux / Hobo Chic

 

RangoUnmuzzled #65 - Rocket Man Redux

RangoUnmuzzled #65 – Rocket Man Redux

Last week:

Rangounmuzzled
 #65 – Rocket Man Redux

Rango emerges from a Facebook blackout dreaming of rockets in this follow up to last week’s show, with more news about the launch event and a selection of tracks to honor our Memorial Day heros. Featuring the unmuzzled artistry of:

Savage Henry
Jack Mustard
Ariel Eshcar
Quick Wicked
The Mothership
Steve Costello
H4ck
Katsumi Yoshihara
Justin E Kautzman
Joe Gande
Jack Roberts Harvey Band
Flygone
RoninMusicUk
mr spoon
Simon James White
John Q. Public
parker BOMBSHELL
Sweet Davis
The People Now
Matthew Meadows, Stuart Epps and John Marter

Broadcast LIVE at The Audioburger 05/25/2014

#audioburger #rangothedog #memorialday #NASASocial #indie

Fandalism:
http://www.fandalism.com/rangothedog/cYTU

Spreaker:
http://www.spreaker.com/user/reputationmedia/episode-65-rocket-man-redux_1

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/matthewmeadowsmusic/rango-unmuzzled-65-rocket-man-redux

This week:

 

RangoUnmuzzled #66 - Hobo Chic

RangoUnmuzzled #66 – Hobo Chic

Rangounmuzzled: Episode 66 – Hobo Chic

Rango has rocketism and is feeling very programmery, so he rips off the opener of the Nervecast Show and broadcasts it on Pete RingMaster‘s channel, without a word about hobo chic until the end of the show. Featuring the unmuzzled artistry of:

Quick Wicked
John Summers
Spank
Garth Hockersmith & The People Now
Jonny Smokes
Simon James White / SjW
Johndus Beckman
Steve Gardner & The Condition
The Mothership
RoninMusicUk
Budd Zunga (aka “the doctor” at DR. Budd Zunga’s Labratory of Sound)
#rangothedog
Tom McNeil‘s parker BOMBSHELL
Matthew Meadows / Stuart Epps / John Marter
Suzanne Sledge & 68-75

Broadcast LIVE at The Audioburger 06/01/2014

#audioburger #rangothedog #hobochic #unfucktheworld #indie

Fandalism:
http://www.fandalism.com/rangothedog/cZP9

Spreaker:
http://www.spreaker.com/user/reputationmedia/rango-unmuzzled-episode-66-hobo-chic

Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/matthewmeadowsmusic/rango-unumzzled-66-hobo-chic

 

 

 

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