Thursday, April 19, 2018

Song of the Day Spotlight - A Perfect Circle - "So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish"

There is so much great new music coming out, it's hard to keep up! I'm going to try to highlight one song each day and tell you why, shining a light on a new tune that you might want to check out.

As I'm let go from my radio gig, it seems only too apropos to begin with the new track released this week by A Perfect Circle, "So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish". The tune takes its title from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - it was the final message the dolphins left humankind before departing planet Earth en masse, just prior to the planet's destruction, and is also the title of the fourth book in the Trilogy.

It's melodic - stately, even... yet also contains echoes of prog pop, fine aged cheese like Asia, Kansas and Styx. Layered harmony vocals sing of things and people we've lost, left behind, or time wasted, with a lighter drive than A Perfect Circle usually has - lighter, for example, than "TalkTalk" - an earlier track released from the upcoming new album Eat the Elephant out this Friday. Yet it builds to atomic destruction, so there's that...

Check out the tune:

The lyrics (from the video comment section - they look right to me):

Time is money and money's time
We wasted every second dime
On diets, lawyers, shrinks and apps and flags and plastic surgery
Now Willy Wonka, Major Tom, Ali, and Leia have moved on
Signal the final curtain call in all its atomic pageantry

Bravissimo, hip hip hooray
For this fireworks display
Mind and body blown away
What a radiant crescendo!

Ticker tape parade
Our hair and skin like
Marilyn Monroe
In an afterwind

Time is money and money's time
We wasted every second dime
On politicians, fancy water and guns and plastic surgery
Like old Prince and Brady's mom
All the dolphins have moved on
Signaling the final curtain call in all its atomic pageantry

Bravissimo, hip hip hooray
What a glorious display
Melt our joyous hearts away
Under the mushroom cloud confetti
Hip hip hooray for this fireworks display
Mind and body blown away
What a radiant crescendo

Hip hip hooray
Hip hip hooray
Ticker tape parade
Our hair and skin like
Marilyn Monroe in an afterwind

Time is money and money's time
We wasted every second dime
On diets, lawyers, shrinks and apps flags and plastic surgery
Now Willy Wonka, Major Tom, Ali and Leia have moved on
Signal the final curtain call in all its atomic pageantry

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

All Good Things...

I was informed early this afternoon that The Point was letting me go, after nearly eight years as the Music Director and Midday host. It was a shock. I'd done nothing wrong. this was through no fault of my own. I asked and was assured of this.

For those who ask, this is what I know: Program Director and Morning Host Zeb Norris had asked a couple months ago to step back from his Program Director responsibilities, and the company found a way to make that work, they thought, and hired John Mullet as the new Program Director. Today, I was informed by Station Manager and Owner Ed Flanagan that although Zeb had been going to assume some responsibilities with other stations owned by the company, while still doing mornings on The Point, the company's plans for those stations had changed and Zeb wasn't needed for that, and so he would be assuming my responsibilities as Music Director, and I was being let go.

Back when Ed told me about the hiring of John and the stepping back of Zeb, I didn't see how the station could support this and me, too. Logically, it seemed to me, Zeb could be named Music Director. I asked Ed outright if I should be worried, get my resume ready. He'd said no. Disappointing to find my instincts were correct.

But? Much as I appreciate people supporting me, and asking others to Boycott the Point, please don't. A lot of great people still work there, and I don't want to be responsible for them getting hurt.

I'm really going to miss being on The Point, and being the Music Director. It wasn't all awesome. As I'm being transparent, I'll be honest - it was pretty much my dream job, but the pay was miserable. For me, that was a trade-off - do what I love, but get paid a low wage. No raise in the last several years, either. It wasn't about the money, though. It was about doing what I loved to do - listen to a ton of new music, play it on the radio and talk about it. I can do without a lot of stuff, so long as I'm doing something that fulfills me day-to-day.

Because it's what drives me, and I have no intention of losing touch with the world of music, I'm going to keep bringing you music. I don't know what's next, but I'm going to use this blog and other platforms to keep playing music for you, and telling you about it, while I figure out my next steps.

If you have music you want me to hear, send it my way. If you hear of opportunities I should know about, send them my way - please! Email - glowinthedarkradio [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, April 08, 2018

The Sense of the Status Quo

Wrote this on facebook. Thought I'd share it here on the blog, too.

We have a short memory as a culture, and a tendency to believe and think that the way things are now is the way they have always been. The idea of the status quo is very strong, and yet - false. Is it a faculty we've developed in order to handle the seeming chaos that surrounds us?

The world is in a state of constant change, so much so that reacting to every alteration in our surroundings would be exhausting, and occupy our every thought and moment. It makes sense we would develop a way, a means of perception, that allows us to "freeze" the world so as to react to it properly, a way to filter out trivial changes that need not concern us immediately.

This may be getting all heady and meta, but bear with me - it means we carry with us a kind of mental image of the way the world IS which governs how we act in and react to the world, and that we tend to maintain that image as if it were a permanent state when, actually, it's a flux state, constantly changing - both the interior "image" (in small, often imperceptible ways) and the world (always in motion).

That puts the urge - the need? - to create an interior sense of status quo on an instinctual level - it's a survival skill. It's then understandable that our sense of the present is as strong as it is - however wrong in its sense of permanence it is. We could be wired to have a short cultural memory.

It seems that, all together, we maintain a sort of cultural version of this sense of status quo, either by individual agreement and maintenance, or, if non-local mental phenomena are allowed, through a sort of communal mental sense of the present here-and-now, the status quo. At the very least, we often assume others have the same inner mental image that we do, until proven wrong, and act as if there is some larger bond.

This "faculty" - this self-creation of the status quo - is apparently a fluid thing, perhaps easily manipulated due to its lack of identification. We don't think about how we perceive the world or our sense of now - and ordinarily, why would we?

Why? We need to become more aware of our sort of "base of perceptions" because it's under assault by those who would shape the culture's sense of status quo to better reflect their own private views, views not necessarily in line with those of our Democratic Republic here in the United States and democracies around the world. Awareness that we carry such a mental image within our minds might make it less vulnerable to attack.

No conspiracy theories here. There's no need. We see wealthy individuals, corporations, companies and other well-funded interest groups spending their money on media buys and politicians to change the cultural conversation on a national level. If they're doing it in the open, it's not a conspiracy. Why should they hide? Recent rulings like Citizen's United in the US have said money is equal to free speech - they can be loud and proud with how they spend their money to influence politics and the culture.

We can blame the media, the world of advertising and marketing, for creating the tools we use to manipulate our inner sense of status quo. When it was only being used to tweak that subtle mental image to introduce an artificial NEED and create a buyer and consumer, the power of our collective imaginations to change the cultural sense of what we need -based on the manipulation of our inner sense of status quo - wasn't yet evident.

In other words, it was "fine" when we were told to fear "simple, chronic halitosis" - bad breath - and use mouthwash (one example of an idea advertising introduced into the cultural sense of status quo). We didn't "need" to fear the manipulation when the ends were to take our money and make us all more "minty fresh".

When these tools began to be used to manipulate the culture politically, a bomb went off. Literally. Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" ad used footage of an atomic bomb exploding - and the implication this was what Barry Goldwater's election would lead to - in one of the world's first highly manipulative political TV ads. Effective? It was September of 1964 - Johnson won easily two months later. The ad didn't even mention Goldwater by name. And? It only ran once.

It's still world-famous.

With the discovery that media messages could alter the culture's very concept of status quo on a political level, the race was on, as it had been with consumer goods, to see how far those creating the messages could push their manipulations - how far could they go? What would people believe?

Thankfully, even without an "up-front" conscious awareness of this sense of status quo, we have defenses against some of this manipulation. Those crafting the messages are required to be more subtle as we grow more savvy. Thus the constant testing and probing to see what we will "believe" - or what beliefs we will allow into our inner, mental sense of status quo.

We need to develop an awareness that this sense of a status quo exists as a mental image within our minds, that it can be manipulated by external forces, and that we, in turn, project and maintain a larger, cultural sense of status quo. Awareness is a preventative defense and leads to strength.

Strength is needed, for this manipulation has come at a price. Ours is now an age of many "status quos" - the world has become fractured, and yet, more focused, in smaller ways. As it became more difficult to manipulate the larger community's sense of status quo, and as first cable TV and then the internet allowed for it, those crafting their messages wrote off altering the status quo of the masses in favor of finding and growing smaller, already receptive audiences. Why try so hard?

This happens across the political spectrum. It is not political equivocation to say this - all sides now engage in this meta-manipulation of their audiences. However, one of the keys into manipulating the cultural sense of status quo favors those on the so-called "Conservative" end of the spectrum.

Of course, there may be a natural appeal to our cultural sense of status quo in anything that calls itself "Conservative" and claims that it is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the status quo. And, indeed, this does work on the "right".

On the "left", however, when one's sense of the status quo finds the ideas proposed by Conservatives to be regressive, backwards, or destructive, Conservative does not equal maintaining the present state of things but trying to throw the culture into reverse, which doesn't just create disagreement but also closes the door to manipulation.

Above and beyond this facile level, however, the most powerful entry into our inner sense of status quo seems to be through an appeal to a lost golden age of some kind. This does favor the Conservative message, though appeals to centrists and those on the left referencing the "Clinton Years" or "Obama Years" can be evidence of this messaging.

Any appeal to a lost golden age should be a red flag - you are about to be manipulated. Any suggestion those appealing to you are capable of bringing back that golden age should be a bigger red flag - they are lying to you. The only golden age each of us can bring on is our own.

Beware the one who preaches the virtue of individual struggle, yet then claims they are all about lifting you up. Beware those who say they are working for you as they preach each should only look out for oneself. And beware the politician who suggests that their election alone is all that is necessary to bring about the return of a great, golden age, as if your vote or support alone is all that is required of you to make things happen.

The insidious nature of these appeals to a lost golden age is that they draw their strength from our own longings. The less satisfied we are with our place in the world, the more open we are to this messaging. The messages reinforce our inner suspicions or beliefs, sometimes the worst of these.

When the worst, most repressed feelings, rise up, suddenly reinforced, they sometimes spring forth with amazing power, let loose. Psychology suggests things we suppress and force into the subconscious or unconscious can return with near-demonic force and "possess" us. When they rise again to consciousness, they can be uncontrollable.

Drawing political power by loosing these "demons" of the unconscious seems a dangerous thing. And yet, it's done now as a matter of course, with promise of a return to a mythical, golden status quo that never existed. Creating a mythical goal creates cognitive dissonance in those whose status quo isn't currently so golden, which generates anger, an energy that can be used and manipulated.

All this because we aren't aware of the way we maintain a filter on the world, of the way we perceive a status quo inside our minds making the ever-changing world more manageable, and project and maintain the same sort of sense of status quo on a larger level for the community around us.

Our short cultural memory may be the result of this need to maintain an illusion of a permanent status quo. But the concept's vulnerability, and our vulnerability to manipulation thanks to our ignorance of it and its power, means we need to grow more aware of the illusion, the filter, or whatever we want to call this maintaining of a sense of status quo.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

The Return of the Ancient Enemy!

Azhumet steals the show this episode, as the Ancient Enemy reborn attempts to bring his time-traveling plans for saving the Elite of his race to fruition! Find out if the alien mad scientist is successful in Chapter Twenty-Four of Alibi Jones and The Sunrise of Hur! The Adventures of Alibi Jones continue – even in a chapter without the title character! Free audio science fiction adventure written and read by host Mike Luoma - Glow-in-the-Dark Radio!  



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Home(s): http://mikeluoma.com - http://glowinthedarkradio.com - http://alibijones.com

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Glow-in-the-Dark Radio Now on RadioPublic!

Just introduced to RadioPublic.com - a new podcasting guide that's also trying to fairly monetize podcasting for the content creators (what a concept!). Glow-in-the-Dark Radio was submitted - and immediately accepted! Yay! So now you can listen to Glow-in-the-Dark Radio via one of the most innovative and progressive podcasting services around - how cool is that? Check it out:

Monday, March 19, 2018

And... Print It! ...Vatican Assassin - The Graphic Novel, That Is

Thought it was worth it's own quick post to mention the print edition of our new VATICAN ASSASSIN - The Graphic Novel is now officially available at Indy Planet! Through it's Print-on-Demand fulfillment, Indy Planet is able to carry thousands of independent comics. Pretty darn cool. Their books look Beautiful. AND they've got digital editions, too, no worries.

I love the way the new color edition looks in print. Keep using - abusing - the word...  it looks cinematic!

Click Here To Go to Indy Planet for VATICAN ASSASSIN - The Graphic Novel.

Indy Planet is the online retail store attached to Ka-Blam printing. If you need to print your comic, one copy to bulk,  I can recommend Ka-Blam.com and their P-O-D printing. Here's me opening the book's print proof, in case you missed it:


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

New Comic Book Day - Full Color VATICAN ASSASSIN - The Graphic Novel Out Today

Time to celebrate! Our full-color Vatican Assassin - The Graphic Novel is out TODAY. If you've been "waiting for the trade", here it is! Very proud of this group effort - congratulations to Cristian Navarro, artist, and Juan Carlos Quattordio, colorist. Many thanks again to them both for helping me bring the story to life!

Hope you have a chance to check it out. Head to http://glowinthedarkradio.com for links, or go direct:

comiXologyhttp://bit.ly/2FpkHz2 (Digital. Check out their Guided View - it's awesome!)
DriveThruComicshttp://www.drivethrucomics.com/product/232799/Vatican-Assassin--The-Graphic-Novel  (Digital - PDFs)
Indy Planethttp://www.indyplanet.us/?s=Mike+Luoma (Print! And Digital)

You know, even if you don't get into comics, if you're a fan of my work, or enjoyed the novel Vatican Assassin, you might get something out of this new telling. Juan Carlos did a beautiful job on the color and finishing. And seeing it like this gives you at least an idea of what Vatican Assassin might look like as a movie, doesn't it?

Who would you cast as BC?

Oh! Since we're talking about Vatican Assassin movies - if you're on Spotify, I've been making playlists. And here's a Vatican Assassin inspired, sort of "soundtrack": VATICAN ASSASSIN SOUNDTRACK MIX

Here it is on 8Tracks if you don't Spotifyhttps://8tracks.com/mikeluoma/vatican-assassin-soundtrack-mix

And check out the Grand Opening of the print proof of Vatican Assassin - The Graphic Novel fresh out of the mail from Ka-Blam Printing. See what the print edition looks like - it's beautiful, if I do say so myself!