Monday, January 30, 2012

Disguster is Beyond Disgusting

Let's clear one thing up before I proceed any further. I'm writing about Disguster the punk rock band from Fullerton, Ca. A band that Gary Schwind of The Orange County Music Examiner calls "a high-octane, well-lubricated  rock n roll machine." Just what kind of lubrication is left strictly to your imagination (liquor, spit, motor oil, KY Jelly, bacon fat)  

There is another Disguster on the national music scene, a turgid group of black (as in Satanic) metal heads from Massachusetts. If that's who you were interested in, then read no further.  Disguster would have you think that they are disgusting.   On the surface and judging by their song lyrics that would seem to be the case. Or as their drummer puts it "We call ourselves Disguster because Disgust wasn't  disgusting enough."

Disguster sprung as a side project from a pair of Southern California bands.  Lead vocalist -KC (Kris Cass), drummer- Jorge E. Peru, bassist- Zac Cooper and guitarist Hedge all trace their  roots to The Co-Dependents, a band famous for literally bringing down the ceiling at The Doll Hut in Anaheim (the result of KC swinging from a ceiling fan)

The band's original guitar duo, Hedge and Reno (who KC refers to as skinhead bookends) and Jorge all played with Mr. Mirainga.  A band that started in Tempe, Az. before re-locating to Fullerton. That band had a run of success in 1995-96, highlighted by the inclusion of their song  "Burnin' Rubber" on the soundtrack of Ace Ventura, When Nature Calls. 

"my face is in your place, i'm looking in, you get the picture"

To say that Disguster has a one track mind is to state the obvious or as one writer said: "When you visit the band's page, you will see one song called Women and another called Drugs. I ask you, what is more rock n roll than that?" If go further and listen to the songs, you'll see that  they also cover  a full spectrum of misogynistic fantasies. It's more than amazing their concerts aren't picketed by rape crisis advocates and women's rights groups, whenever they take the stage. 

"My Kick" deals with stalking from the perspective of a potential rapist, "my kick I'm really sick, I'm in the dark and so is the victim" driven by a wall of guitar rock, KC spews out some sick desires "I see a girl and I follow her home" the video that accompanies the track was shot in grainy black and white "She's all alone, she doesn't see me  cause I hide behind the bushes" it leaves little doubt of the outcome "I wait around till the middle of the night."

"Maggot" is equally disturbing for its vivid depiction of assault, sexual or otherwise " I see you walking all alone, I see you talking on the phone, I'm going to follow you home" the frantic music invades your private space "My foot, your door, I'm not so human anymore, I get so high when you're so damn low" the drums and guitar riffs come flying at you like fists "I'm going to hit you with a backhand, I'm gonna get you in the back end, I'm going to beat you till you're black and blue." 

"Secret Shame" invites you to "Meet me on the other side of the glory hole, but don't keep me waiting" KC has a unique voice, in fact it's what keeps you riveted to the music, despite the vile subject matter. "You should know better but you're d-i-s-g-u-s-t-e-r" His vocals are best described as a high pitched yelp "You're gonna get it... don't keep me waiting" Bon Scott with blown out  vocal chords. 

"Six Way" starts out with KC flexing his muscles while Hedge & Cooper harmonize "You wanna feel these guns?" behind him.  Disguster is looking for a certain type of gal "Hot thrills, more pills she's lost her motor skills" when they find her they ask the question "Do you wanna go for a six way with Disguster?... meet me in the middle of the parking lot." KC usually preens and poses on the drum kit or sings the climatic ending perched from atop a bar stool.

Disguster does switch it up every now and then, "Communication Breakdown" is a crackling, straight forward rendition of that old Led Zep warhorse. "Free Pie" is damn near rockabilly, as the band goes on about the kind of pie you don't find on any kitchen window sill.  "End of the End" mixes "oi,oi,oi" punk rock with arena rock guitars to create a sound that is uniquely Disguster.  It's all on their debut full length album "Not So Sweet" released in 2009.

Now, here's the hitch... SoCal punk rock just like pro wrestling is rarely what it appears to be.  Kayfabe plays a big part in the Orange County music scene, it always has. Kris Cass is a family man, married and the father of two spanking new baby girls. Cooper has a college degree in electronics from Cal St. Fullerton. Jorge works his ass off playing in what Kris estimates as ten different bands. (Good drummers are hard to find, he explains.)

So who cultivates the repulsive  subject matter that you find on almost every song? KC anoints Jorge as "the super glue that holds the band together" but, you get a feeling that there's a general consensus. Their fan base certainly doesn't raise its arms in protest, and they have their legion of followers, having been voted  by  the O.C. Register's reader's choice poll as best live band. 

Given Orange County's rock music pedigree, that is a high honor. In 2010, following the band's appearance at SXSW in Austin, Tx., both Hedge and Reno decided to leave the group.  Disguster re-grouped with the addition of  Mimmo and Dana to head up their patented twin guitar assault. Disguster's heavy dose of ribald rock is not always easy to take and definitely an acquired taste for most. 

The following video is by no means "safe for work" (or for kids, mothers, grandmothers, Mormons or anyone with any shred of decency.)  Hosted by the delightfully slutty Franki Doll, Disguster plays a blistering set of pure adrenaline fueled rock and roll. Watch for a textbook windmill move on his guitar by Hedge that makes Pete Townshend look like a pussy.  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sad Baby Wolf- Videos

A series of videos from Sad Baby Wolf, all compliments of YouTube (where would we be without it?) The first video is an audio only version of "Survival Guide"  followed by a performance at  The Pony Club in Portland.  "Roaming" features Neal effectively using a ringing slide guitar sound to propell  the song like some giant Slinky.  Marty's understated vocals  travel well across the intimate space in which the band performs. 

There's also three songs from the band's July 8th 2011 performance at Low Spirits in Albuquerque.  Charged with coiled energy, Sad Baby Wolf rolls out another version of "Roaming", this one features Neal playing a lap steel guitar. The mix is a little muddy, but they do get their point across.  "Electric Sounds" switches over to a straight ahead indie rock vibe. "8th Level" is the live version of a song they released as a single (along with Survival Guide) 

The Low Spirits performances suffer (as so many live videos on YouTube do) from low quality audio, in this case Marty's vocals tend to get buried. Nonetheless, the band's performance is compelling, and every song they play is tremendously catchy. This time however, you don't have to take my word for it. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Makes a Baby Wolf Sad?

The death of rock music has been rumored since it's infancy. Although if we assume rock & roll to be a breathing, living entity... then like all living things it was destined to die eventually. Are we at the end days of rock music, is Stevie Nicks' claim that "the internet has destroyed rock" valid? If so, there's enough blame to go around, and yes the internet has played a part. If not in its demise, then at least for the current moribund state that's it's in. 

Many would argue that up and coming musicians now have more outlets to get their music out there, thanks to the internet. That is true, but it's a double edged sword. The "star making system" in music is gone and just like Hollywood when the studios scrapped the system of contract actors, it's dog eat dog. The system worked to certain degree, whenever a music scene got hot, you could count on the major labels sweeping down to sign everyone in sight (London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, NYC, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle) 

The crux of the problem is that rock music has gone from being a dominant force, to simply filling a niche in the market. The ascendancy of rap and hip hop music was a key factor,  but rock musicians played their part.  We can definitely blame Kurt Cobain, for pissing it all away, while making it seem that doing so was a point of pride. (Better to blow your fucking head off, then to burn out or fade away... my ass!)  Let's not leave out Trent Reznor, a mediocre, miserable and self indulgent motherfucker, who cheated us by not killing himself. But, most of all I blame Pearl Jam and in turn Eddie Vedder for lowering the bar and thus opening the door for Nickelback, Chris Daughtry and a host of guttural imitators. 

Jon Landau is best known as a onetime music writer and critic at Rolling Stone magazine, but the article he's most famous for was published by The Real Paper, a Boston alternative weekly newspaper. In 1974 Landau went to see a New Jersey favorite son perform. He came away from that concert a changed man. He was so touched by the performance that he wrote these now familiar lines, "I saw my rock and roll past flash before my eyes. And I saw something else: I saw rock and roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." I guess you had to be there. 

Landau immediately quit his writing job and went to work for Bruce Springsteen, a smart move on his part.  Strangely enough he was right, "The Boss" was the future of rock & roll, but for all the wrong reasons. Springsteen, the greaser with the soul of a poet, is responsible for a sickening trend in rock music, the blurring of lines. Bruce took the essence of rock & roll and added horns, corndog macho posturing and showboating, to essentially neuter the music. He put on a great show, but he was safe as mother's milk, and what he played wasn't rock & roll. 

Springsteen also kicked started the lo-fi music movement with "Nebraska", a stark, manic depressive album that set the tone for a generation of singer-songwriters. These mopers tend to give themselves "band" names and bring everyone down with a shit storm of introspective self pity. For the most part, they are self loathing, awkward motherfuckers uncomfortable in their own skin. Lo-fi lonely boys who just can't shake those dark clouds hovering over their heads. The list of artists reads like a  witness protection roll call for shoegazers and sulkers. (Sparklehorse, Bright Eyes, Badly Drawn Boy, Owl City) ....  omnes mihi taedium.

"The impending demise of rock music has not been exaggerated, but there is still hope"

I too have seen the future of rock & roll and it is Sad Baby Wolf. I know what you're thinking, "WTF! did Bachman Turner Overdrive get back together?" Hey don't knock BTO, those big boys were near genius rock/pop superstars. Sad Baby Wolf, just like BTO revolves around siblings, Marty Crandall (late of The Shins) and Maury Crandall (Giranimals)  Jason Ward, Neal Langford (The Shins, Flake Music) and Sean McCullough round out the band.   

This dream team of Duke City rock musicians is proof positive that the band concept still works. They hold to the ideal, that a group of musicians can come together, like a band of brothers and produce real music. It ain't rock & roll if you're not sweating it out in a studio, a club or in a van that's running on seven of its eight cylinders. Is my claim preposterous? you may think so, but I'm no more wrong about Sad Baby Wolf than Jon Landau was about Bruce Springsteen.

Sad Baby Wolf rose from the ashes of  several local bands, including the original Shins. Marty Crandall, Dave Hernandez & Jesse Sandoval were an integral part of  The Shins' music and image (Damn! I miss that sloppy drunk, happy vibe) Marty's keyboards were as much a trademark of The Shins' sound as James Mercer's vocals. Neal Langford also played an important part in the band. He came on board when they were still recording seven inch splits with Henry's Dress. Then, with success just around the corner, he was given the boot by Mercer (over the phone no less) 

Taking a blowtorch to The Shins when they were primed for bigger and better things still doesn't make much sense. That however is all water under the Montano bridge, we are free to move on.  Sad Baby Wolf first came together when they made an appearance on the bill of a benefit show for Gary Wayne Nelson in 2010. What was supposed to be a "one and done" gig (alongside reunited bands like Elephant & Cracks in the Sidewalk) suddenly became a long term project. It didn't take long for everyone involved to realize that they had stumbled on a good thing.

Sad Baby Wolf recently released two original songs, if  you haven't heard them, shame on ya' they're all over the interwebs. "Survival Guide" uses low key brooding vocals, over a bed of dissonant instrumentation to good effect. This track gives a nod to the sound that is so uniquely 'Burque (best exemplified by The Mindy Set, The Giranimals, The Oktober People, Of God & Science, The Breaktones, A Man About a Horse and Soular) 

"8th. Level" sounds like Flake Music (more so than The Shins) Marty sings with an every man's voice that is strangely effective despite its limited range.  The indie vibe of the music doesn't mask the band's experimental tendencies. It's more than obvious that James Mercer wasn't the only one listening to the Elephant 6 collective. "8th Level" skirts the boundaries of noise-oriented pop with a healthy dose of feedback samples, the good chemistry in Sad Baby Wolf is evident and it looks good on them.

Albuquerque's best bands are those that persevere against the mitigating circumstances that come from living in a city with limited venues. The Duke City is a great place to live, but it's not a good place to nurture a musical career, solo or otherwise (unless you're Chris Dracup and you've got that steakhouse gig locked up tight)  What does the future hold for the band that holds the key to el porvenir de rock & roll?  

Hmm!... probably lunch followed by a nap. And... there's also a full length release due out this spring, which I eagerly await. Sad Baby Wolf was conceived to help sustain and guide rock and roll's destiny out of the doldrums brought on by the ill conceived notion that depression sells. There is joy in music, it is after all "a joyful noise" (fuck you! Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah) and Sad Baby Wolf brings the joy.... yes they do! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Quixotic Quest

At Amazon music you can instantly buy all the "best" one hit wonder songs for $0.69 U.S. (No! this isn't a sales pitch) being a sucker for anything cheap, I must admit that it caught my attention. The idea of building a playlist for a few dollars intrigued me, so I checked out Amazon's offerings.  It was what I expected, Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega, Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, I'm Gonna be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers, Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane (remember him?) Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground, Steal My Sunshine by Len, Fade into You by Mazzy Star, My Own Worst Enemy by Lit, ad nauseum.

While reading the comments and reviews that accompanied the tracks, it soon became apparent that there was a battle waging over the bit rate of the mp3 downloads.  I'm not an expert, but the gist of the argument was that they were available at a compressed, lossy 256 kbps vbr, but everyone felt they should be 320 kbps vbr., or something to that effect. "They might as well put them out on cassette tape!" one zealot blared. I felt no pity for them, after all you're dealing with compressed digital music files. In essence they've already been mutated, only an asshole would quibble over the sound quality.  

If you want cd quality buy the compact discs. Or better yet, buy vinyl ((I hear that's the purest of all sound mediums) I'm not a purist when it comes to sound. When recording, I set my recorders to near cd quality and  don't give it another thought (especially if I'm not paying for it)  While serving In the military, I fell in with a group of audiophiles. Each one would spend thousands on a system and then everyone would gather round to listen (while getting fucking hammered) I recall my friend Steve telling me "Listen... listen to the hi-hats, do you hear the hi- hats, can you hear the cymbals?

I couldn't hear shit!, I was leaning into the wind and ready to pass out on the floor. My interest was more in the hi, then the fi and I soon drifted away from those assholes. Having bought a decent stereo system at JC Penney for $1200 (300 watt amp, 36" high speaker boxes) I could pump out The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Cars and Devo as loud as my fellow dorm dwellers would let me. Naturally if I played my shit loud, there was no complaining when my neighbors pumped Funkadelic or The Brothers Johnson at full volume. They could match my amp output, so it was a trade-off.  

I had come a long way from my first record player, a turntable in a small square case, with two small speakers on the sides. It was old when I got it. One of our well to do neighbors gave it to me complete with a stack of 45's and 78 rpm records. (Hanks Williams, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson) they had a thing for Hanks. I started to supplement my collection by buying 45's at Ben Franklin for a quarter each. When I didn't have a quarter, the "sound-a-likes" were available for ten cents each. It was all good to me.

The local Goodwill store sold records, and soon I was buying castoffs for a nickel each. Then one day, as I was leaving the Goodwill, a jukebox jobber came out of the bar next door with a box of vinyl records. He saw me and called out "Hey kid come here" I went over there "Do me a favor, haul these over to the trash bin or keep 'em if you like" I could barely contain myself, he laughed as he handed me the box "They're played out and they ain't worth dick."

I rushed home with the box and started playing them,  it was loaded with mid-sixties top forty gems and a shitload of country hits (Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, George Jones) Holy shit! I had hit the mother lode. Coming from such humble beginnings, how could I be a music snob?.  I'm not going to argue the advantages of variable bit rate vs. constant bit rate or if the encoding process results in lossless compression. I don't give a fuck, the music is free of hiss, pops & skips. And to be honest, even with all these technical advances in music, I still can't hear the hi-hats. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Shins- Port of Morrow

It's been almost five years since The Shins released "Wincing the Night Away" an album that took them to the pinnacle of success and established James Mercer as one of America's premier songwriters and vocalists.  "Wincing the Night Away", was recorded and produced in Portland during 2006 by James Mercer with little input from then fellow band members Marty Crandall , Jesse Sandoval & Dave Hernandez.  

Released on January 23, 2007, it went on to become the best selling album ever for the Sub Pop label. It was also nominated for a 2008 Grammy award in the Best Alternative Music Album category. However, once the album came out, James was quoted as saying that he felt overwhelming pressure while composing and arranging the album tracks (hence the title) He also hinted in interviews  of his weariness at having to carry the creative load for the band. 

Changes were afoot and for local fans of The Shins, the subsequent moves made by James were disheartening.  He first dismissed Marty and Jesse, with Dave taking his leave later. The Shins created and nurtured in Albuquerque had been purged of local musicians.  James had derailed the Shins to pursue his own career,  which took the shape of a collaborative project with Danger Mouse. 

Broken Bells, as the side project came to be known, produced an album and one ep. What it failed to produce was a Cee Lo Green type monster hit. Broken Bells did however kill whatever momentum The Shins once had going for them.  Which may have been the desired effect that James was after. The band's upcoming album "Port of Morrow" seemingly was recorded with far fewer nights spent agonizing at the mixing boards.

Port Of Morrow is due for release in March of this year (2012) on Mercer's own Aural Apothecary label, which is distributed by Columbia Records.  There's also a North American tour in the books, the roster for the touring band consists of Mercer, Richard Swift, Joe Plummer, Yuuki Matthews and Jessica Dobson.  This is also the same line-up listed in Wikipedia for the band. No word on what happened with Neal Langford, Mikael Yeung, Eric Johnson or Ron Lewis. 

Lowered expectations equals lower stress levels, but the world is much different now than it was in 2007. In an ever changing musical landscape dominated by dub step and auto tuned madness, The Shins are nothing more than an after thought. I fear that "Port of Morrow" will set sail and slowly sink in the murky waters of apathy.  With James the only remaining member with an  Albuquerque connection, should we really give a fuck anymore? 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Death By Misadventure: Layne Staley

Slowly wasting away from the residual damage of drug abuse is not glamorous. It's the after photo of the rock and roll lifestyle. While over the top partying helped rock stars maintain a larger than life mystique, ultimately it also killed them. 

"In the darkest hole, you'd be well advised not to plan my funeral before the body dies"

There was nothing spectacular about Layne Staley, other than his voice and uncanny ability to channel inner pain into poetic song lyrics. Like so many other musicians from Seattle's grunge scene, he was ill equipped and unprepared for the sudden fame and wealth that came his way. Staley was born in Kirkland, Wa. his childhood was marred by his parent's divorce. 

The absence of his father caused Layne no small amount of grief  "My world became a nightmare, there were just shadows around me" he would later say. A phone call led him to believe that his father was dead. Though, in actuality "he was around doing all kinds of drugs"  Layne would later hint that the desertion and his father's drug use was the catalyst for his own drug problems. He would also admit that he hoped his celebrity status would lead his father back to him, it never happened. 

Staley brought Alice in Chains together while he was still in high school, the addition of guitarist Jerry Cantrell in 1987 solidified the line-up along with drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr. With Staley as frontman, Alice in Chains gained notice for their angst driven, manic depressive approach to grunge rock. They had a knack for taking ugly subject matters and making beautiful music from them.

Signed by Columbia Records in 1989, the band's first major label release was "We Die Young" a three song ep. Their debut album "Facelift" was released in 1990 and was certified double platinum. "Facelift" shot the band to stardom, however as soon as they topped the charts, drug addiction started to become a factor.  "Sap" a five song ep, kept the fans stoked while awaiting the next release. The ep's release was the result of Alice in Chains choosing "not to mess with fate" after drummer Sean Kinney had a dream that they had recorded an album titled "Sap" Whatever inspired it, the ep went gold.

Released in 1992, Alice in Chains second album "Dirt" was critically acclaimed, doubling the number of sales of their debut. "Dirt" was certified quadruple platinum, but for Mike Starr it was the end of the road, his continued drug problems led to his being replaced in the band by Mike Inez. With both Staley and Starr battling drug problems, Alice in Chains curtailed their tour in support of "Dirt"

A period of inactivity and frustration followed as Cantrell, Kinney & Inez tried to work around Staley's addiction (after a short period of staying clean, he had started using heroin during the Jar of Flies sessions) "Jar of Flies" an acoustic recording was released in 1994. The ep debuted at #1, a first for the band, however Layne's drug use forced the group to scrap any plans for a tour. 

That same year, Staley entered rehab in Minnesota for heroin addiction. With Alice in Chains in hiatus, Layne hooked up with two Seattle musicians, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog) Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) and John Baker Saunders (Hubert Sumlin) to form the grunge supergroup "Mad Season"  This resulted in "Above" an album released in 1995 that went Gold and yielded two top twenty singles "River of Deceit" and "I Don't Know Anything."

Meanwhile, Alice in Chains returned to the studio to work on what would be the band's final album with Layne Staley. The relationship between the band and Layne was strained. Their collaborate effort was reduced to Cantrell delivering instrumental tracks to Staley, so he could write lyrics for them at home. It took an enormous amount of effort to complete the album (officially known as "Alice in Chains, though often referred to as "Tripod" due to the three legged dog depicted on the cover. 

The eponymous album went double platinum, Rolling Stone said "the songs achieve a starling, staggering and palpable impact." It was a departure from the grunge label the band was stuck with, but once again Layne was unable to tour.  Staley then disassociated himself from the band, telling those close to him "Don't try to contact any Alice in Chains members. They are not my friends." Layne sequestered himself, for all intents and purposes that was the end of Alice in Chains.

It wasn't unusual for two weeks to go by without anyone hearing from him. He was a regular at a neighborhood bar, where he neither drank nor spoke, preferring to sit in a booth and nod out. His health and appearance deteriorated, he grew deathly pale, lost several teeth and was severely emaciated. He refused to answer the phone or return calls and had drug dealers delivering to his door, which he would open to no one else. 

In his final interview a few months before his death, Staley stated: "I know I'm near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way." The end came quietly, on April 19th, 2002 alarmed that no money had been withdrawn from Layne's bank account in two weeks, his accountants grew concerned. They contacted his mother, Nancy McCallum who had not heard from him during that same period. She went to his condo accompanied by police officers. After failing to get a response from anyone inside, the police kicked in his door. 

They entered the dark room, illuminated by the flickering light of a television, and on the couch sitting upright was Layne Staley. He had been dead for two weeks and had basically decomposed into the cushions. Layne was surrounded by drug paraphernalia, a stash of cocaine, two crack pipes, numerous spray paint cans and syringes. In his hand was a syringe loaded with heroin. Nancy McCallum approached and spoke to Layne in a soft voice as she tried to clean up around him.

Once his body was removed more syringes were found underneath him. The autopsy would show traces of cocaine, codeine and morphine in his system, his body weighed a mere 86 pounds.  There was $500 lying next to the toilet and both the bathroom and kitchen were littered with used syringes, crack pipes and spray-paint cans. Forensics set the date of death as April 5th. eight years to the day, that Kurt Cobain had taken his own life.  

It's believed that former bandmate Mike Starr was the last person to see him alive. A fact that would haunt Starr right up until his own death from an overdose in 2011. Starr confessed on the reality show, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, that he visited Staley on April 4th, found him in dire straits and offered to call 911. Starr stated that they then got into an argument and he stormed out as Layne called out to him "Not like this, don't leave like this". 

Layne's plight was all too common, as he explained "I'm not using drugs to get high like many people think. I know I made a big mistake when I started using this shit. It's a very difficult thing to explain. My liver is not functioning, and I'm throwing up all the time and shitting my pants. The pain is more than you can handle. It's the worst pain in the world. Dope sick hurts the entire body."

Death has stalked rock musicians with a persistence usually reserved for serial killers. Drugs have been the scourge of musicians, though accidents (car, airplane) have probably claimed the lives of more artists over the years. An accident, is an almost noble way to die compared to the pathetic path of self destruction taken by Layne Staley. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

8 Tracks- before you drive away....

The Flux Main Stream

Martin Stamper (Fast Heart Mart) continues his musical sojourn across America. A journey that brought him back to  Albuquerque and has included stops in Las Cruces, Tucson and San Diego.  We now have video evidence of Martin's travels thanks to  "The Flux Main Stream"  a performance video featuring  Martin and Justin Werner.

On Facebook, Martin explains the thought process behind  The Flux Main Stream,  "My friend Justin Werner and I have been playing a music for while and want to be more famous, so we made our own tv show."  Mart continues "  "We're just trying to get this system to work for us,  if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and if can't join 'em... than grow your own."

For  those not familiar with Justin Werner, he's a singer-songwriter  who performs and records as Justin Werner & Co.  or with a large collective of musicians called 3rd. Borough.  Werner like Martin is no stranger to YouTube, where you can find several videos of Justin performing his own compositions or covers of Leonard Cohen and The Beatles.

The Flux Main Stream features homespun, intimate performances by both musicians, direct from a cozy living room, sitting next to a Christmas tree and surrounded by strategically placed vinyl albums and cd's.  It's homegrown television and it sure beats the hell out of Jersey Shore and Storage Wars.

Sunday, January 1, 2012