Tuesday, March 31, 2015


It was a really politically tense year. "OCCUPY" was the word and people were doing just that, sitting and taking a stand against the political machine that leaves them very little else to do to change things other than just sit down and pitch a tent! Although their message was blurred and twisted in the media they spoke to me and I saw what I saw during the Vietnam era... a non violent peaceful protest for change, for a while it was encouraging. But, after a while camping isn't protesting and without a clear spokesman and the opportunity to hear one... might as well back up your sleeping bag and go home. I'm not one to sit with a crowd in protest these days, not my style... but If I have a stage a projector and a screen I can damn well make my own statement!

That is what the "2012 DSoOz Fest" was all about, railing against the media

I told myself If I was going to do another DSoOz I had to do something spectacular. I decided to totally re-invent DSoOz again, this time twist it to incorporate 2 complete Ozzy Osbourne songs "No More Tears" and "Thunder Under Ground" into the movie itself. It seemed crazy to me at first and then I thought, well actually "Crazy" is perfect! But I can't be crazy, I'm The Professor, I'm the one who is suppose to be in control here. What I need is a good nemesis like Batman had in the Joker, one that can take the blame away from me for any opinions that might challenge the audiences perception of my real point. At least be the bad guy if need be but, he was pretending to be me! The story goes:

As I said at my previous DSoOz, this may be the last and after saying that I decided to take that suggestion and relinquish the authority to someone else. Since The Professor had now left the country in search of curious synchronistic events and left no forwarding address... It seemed the perfect opportunity to take the stage myself as Oz Ozborn and pitch a tent in the name of a creative political statement. The character looked quite a lot like Ozzy... the darker it got the better I looked! I had a great straight black wig, round glasses, black jacket, jewelry and all I really had to do was mumble. I even went to the extent to create another facebook identity under his name just so he could pop up and torment everyone with his critical thought!

 My Intro to Oz, which is the 1st 30 min of my show before the actual DSoOz screening, was more of a comical satire on the state of the state. It included a short bit by George Carlin that emphasized my point quite well and of course it had lots of Ozzy Osbourn jokes just to kick his character around and prepare you for his entrances in the DSoOz sync itself!

Yes I pitched a tent...

Dead center stage for 2 days and nights! I cut a hole out of the back of the tent, secured the rear curtain so no one could see you come and go and made the steadfast rule that at show time, no one comes and goes on or off of the stage except through the tent door! The tent had some unusual features itself, I had shrunk The Professors Wayback Machine down to something more tent size this time and loaded it up with the same old school effects. I had to make sure that I left room in the tent for not only me to wait for my 1st appearance to exit as Oz Ozborn in the very beginning of the show but also have people pass through the tent themselves at the end of the evening to collect their diploma's. 

To dramatize Oz's exit out of the tent I needed a special effect and once that I realized that the zip up bug screen triangle made the perfect projection screen I was on the right track. I used a 2nd projector to project a triangle cut visual that hit only on the triangle bug screen. With the house projector hitting the main 30'x40' screen and the effect opening of the tent made quite a statement! At show time I started the DVD intro and secretly made my way through the back stage and into the rear of the tent to wait for my exit cue (stumble out was the plan) . Inside the tent was a crazy environment of spinning wheels, colored lights and lots of fog... leaving me little choice in that tent but to light-up a special celebratory joint and play with some hand palm lights that I was wearing for the personal effect. I wish I had photos of this exit, it seems out of 3 or 4 photographers that were there they were all caught off guard... I've been told it was quite a sight to see! I'm not surprised either, I spent a lot of time editing 2 separate videos that I actually hand synced together live to create the effect. In a cloud of fog, through lightning bolts of color, fire and sound what a fine tribute to the man himself... As I opened the tent flaps and stepped out to begin the show, it was truly one of the most surreal moments of my life. I stumbled out of the tent and mumbled appropriately what little lines I had given myself and guided the audience towards that red brick road which is always best place to start.

The Highway Poets - We Represent

I brought some friends along with on this journey once again. "The Highway Poets" joined me on stage as "The Lollipop Poets" during the intermission and brought down the house with a rousing acoustic rendition of "The Lollipop Guild" delivered in a very unusual way!  As I mentioned, any one coming or going from the stage had to enter and exit through the tent so when it came time to introduce my special little friends I just began by stumbling around the stage lining up 5 pairs of shoes in a straight line (which was difficult for Oz Ozborn) directly in front of the tent door. As I introduced them they began to file out single file on their knees and placed each of their knees in the appropriate pair of shoes. But, the fun didn't stop there. I had prepared 5 helium balloons side stage and wielding a sharp pair of scissors I sniped the end off of each balloon as I handed it to the respective Munchkin. On the count of 5 they were off... each member inhaled the helium and began to sing. I can't tell you what a funny trick it is to play on already exceptional vocalists, than to pitch shift their vocals up 2-3 octaves and then ask them to sing in tune and play a song. It was truly hilarious and quite impossible!

Members: Sebastian - Vocals, Guitars, Organ, Piano
Travis James - Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo and Vocals
Taylor James - Electric & Upright Bass and Vocals
Shane Schlick - Drums, Mandolin, Percussion and Vocals

All in all I felt like I had blown up the mother of all syncs for good, no other music was used in Oz Fest other than Pink Floyd and Ozzy Osbourn. "Thunder Underground" was used just as Dorothy is leaving Professor Marval's trailer just before the twister hits and "No More Tears" represents Dorothy's struggle and the fact that the Witches Castle is the Dark Side of the Moon! There's no going back from here and very little elsewhere to go I thought to myself... I might be done... but as twisted as it may sound it was really quite spectacular feat and carried a strong personal statement that I could never of made by just pitching my tent in Down Town Santa Rosa.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2011 THE DARK SIDE OF OZ - Oz Sync Class PART 4

After straying a bit far from the Red Brick Road the recent year I decided that in 2011 I would return to the original DSoOz which included the Easy Star All Stars version of "Dub Side of the Moon" on the 2nd repetition but this year I would do something special which usually means a lot more editing for me. I decided to include a 2nd projector and 3'x4' screen under the 30'x40' theater screen showing the video. On this "under screen" I included the written text of all of the 100+ synchronistic cues that related to the video as it was watched in real time. In the past I had passed out leaflets with the cues printed on them to enlighten the audience, but I had never been able to show the audience in such a big way the over whelming amount of  visual and audible synchronistic cues.

All of the sync cues that I displayed in this screening had their foundation in the original "SteggoKitty" Synchronicity Arkive Difinitive List of Synchronistic cues. 
Available here @ the DSoOZ facebook group.

I've always believed that a costume can relieve you of all responsibilities...


Since I had already used parts of "The Wall" in my "Introductions to Oz" openers, It felt only natural to adopt the persona of "The Professor" from the movie and begin to really address these screenings as more of a learning experience... a course in higher education as it were. I acquired a few props and a lot of banter directly stolen from my long time theater counter part Lastas Palas, and pushed myself to not only speak and perform on stage, but for the most part do it as a 1 man act! To make myself feel comfortable and in character I found the largest most ridiculous graduation hat that I could find and an over-sized grad smock with a cane and a bad mustache... I'm no one to be trifled with, I assure you!

At this point I'd like to point out that I have stolen every thing I've ever done...
"A good artist steals the material and makes it his own, 
a poor one copies and repeats his mistakes."
The Professor.

As the Professor I instructed my 1st "DSoOZ Class 1A" from a side stage podium and a Webster's Dictionary cued to the word "Heckler" just in case. I also brought along with me, what I lovingly refer to as The Professors "Wayback Machine.". The Wayback Machine with all of lighting and fog was well hidden behind the 2nd screen just under the large theater screen that would be displaying all of the sync cues in text form during the video screening. As a tip of the hat to the golden years of hand syncing, I made my own visual cues and hand synced all of the sync cue text on the 2nd DVD/projector by hand. When you try to do a 1 man act you can use all the help you can so I  also made good use of wireless off & on switchers in my coat pocket so I could trigger any effects at any time during the performance. It was especially effective during the scenes with "Oz" himself and in the 'Haunted Forrest."


At the end of this show I always love to have a Q&A about the Urban Legend or my process with it, I'm always amazed at the questions I'll be asked... "What gave you the idea to do this?" and "Can I buy a DVD of this?" All I can tell you is that it gets back to the very center of this book... It's the Community around me that inspires me! whether it's the local music community or the Synch Community somewhere off of this planet, People + Resources= Creativity!

I told the audience that this was more than likely my last "Dark Side of Oz" and thanked them for all of the love and support through the years. I don't know how many of them actually believed me, and I almost even believed myself, but as it turned out it ended up being a great set up for the next year!

Things went so well at this screening that I asked Ken O'Donnell the owner if asked if I could have the theater for one more evening on my birthday a few months later.  Approval was given and addition to all of my DSoOZ screenings that I had performed at The Mystic, I produced an
 evening that I called "The Dark Side of Television" & "The Dark Side of Space", 
it was the best way that I could think of to celebrate my birthday!
These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

Friday, March 27, 2015



 After my 4th yearly screening DSoOZ and the previous years "Dark Side Dub the Moon," I was clearly in search of new visions and variations and I was even beginning to build a small following of loyal Munchkins (you know who you are). I felt like I wanted to build more of a format or a vehicle for the show, not just screening a movie but an sharing an experience... A learning experience!

Establishing this screening as a tutorial tribute was always a very important factor to me since my art seems to be as legitimate as tagging is with spray paint and a wall... So for those reasons I decided in 2009 that my yearly trek to Oz should be screened on an original US release date of either August 12th, 15th or 18th for no other reason than I can say it's a yearly tribute.

Just so we're clear...
All Viral Media Art music video syncs are considered to be a demonstration in the art of
synchronization in film and video. These videos are promotional and not for sale or download. 
They are considered to be a tribute and/or a parody of their source.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular
 work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship,
 and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or
 not a particular use is fair.

I had reasons for establishing that scholarly approach and yearly screening date, one was to keep my concerns of Copy Right infringement to a minimum after all, I don't own any part of MGM's / TCM's "Wizard of Oz" or Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the moon" and to insure any money issues that might arise I have never made a penny off of either of the entertainment properties. In fact I believe that the re-exposure that I give these subjects, the  re-interest in the original materials, in a sense reignites it's interest and in turn recycling is good for the planet. At the very least it's made a great calling card and led me into a circle of incredibly creative friends.

It's never really mattered as much to me if people loved or hated my personal 
performances, I've always been happiest with the ? it proves that I had their attention.


Which ever the way that red brick road went I decided that I wasn't going there alone and for the 1st time I altered the movie video of TWoOZ to suit the addition of the bluegrass music of a local and now nationally well known "Poor Man's Whiskey." With the original members of Jason Beard on mandolin, Josh Brough on banjo, Michael Stevenson on acoustic bass and Eli Jebidiah on acoustic guitar and bicycle solo!

I split the 2nd repetition of DSoOZ between their new release "Dark Side of the Moonshine" and weaved Easy Star All Stars "Dub Side of the Moon" into the 2nd half of the 2nd rep and of course then back to Pink Floyd's DSoTM to end the video sync as usual. I ended up with is what I billed as a  "Rock'n Reggae Bluegrass Extravaganza!" Not only did I pull off a really difficult editing twist and bring it to life, but we also brought to the stage Poor Man's Whiskey" for the first time to play during one of the DSoOZ intermissions. With the expert audio engineering of my assistant Munchkin Jerome Pierce, head of the Oz AV Department, Poor Man's Whiskey took the stage in full Oz costumes and proceeded to play segments from their new album which included a ridiculously funny version of "On The Run" delivered by Eli Jebidiah on a bicycle and it's spokes. The short 15 minute set was hilarious and and kept every one in their seats while I cued up DSoOZ part 2.

I had a few special guests that night that I should mention, the 1st being the spectacular cowboy hat stick horse ride through the audience by my good friend Paul Riley. Paul burst in the theater during the bluegrass part of Poor Man's Whiskey's Oz video segment and gave us quite a ride!

I had another special guest on stage that night, this one was 110 years old... My 1910 Victor Talking Machine Victrola. It was perched in front of "Wayback Machine" directly under the theater screen for extra back-up effect and emitted everything from strobes, to colors and fog at specific times of the evening. I found by carrying 2 wireless off/on switchers in my jacket pockets I could set off the effects at any given moment and accent scenes like the Oz hall and the twister scene. During our "Door Time in Oz" my Victrola had one other performance duty, I played my 1939 78' master collection from the film itself on my old crank up friend. good times...

These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Do you believe in synchronicity?

One morning I woke up and was in my kitchen making my 1st cup of coffee for the day, It must have been about 6am and I was barely awake. Suddenly, as I was pouring my cup, I jumped... My Iphone turned all on by it self! Out of my phone and out of the blue came the beginning of Pink Floyd's "Time," only it wasn't Pink Floyd, it was reggae version that I was completely unaware of from a band named "Easy Star All Stars" and their new release "Dub Side of the Moon." I was already baffled at how my phone was operating itself, not to mention it offering me my 1st variation in my "Dark Side of Oz" (DSoOZ) Series. Less than a 1/2 hour later I had purchased and downloaded the new CD and was busy applying it to it's new home.

At first I didn't realize it, but the "Dub Side of the Moon" CD (DSoTM) seemed to be constructed in the same exact timing as Pink Floyd's DSoTM, perhaps so it could accompany and embrace the urban legend. So that's what I decided to do with it!

AUGUST 15th - 2009

Once again, it takes 2 1/2 repetitions of DSoTM to equal the length of TWoOZ, I quite simply placed the new "Dub Side of the Moon" into it's home as the 2nd repetition and when that CD was over I returned to the original master sync with DSoTM from the beginning. The 2nd repetition begins as the reggae heart beat of "Dub Side of the Moon" syncs as Dorothy finds the Tin Man and listens to his chest for a heart. This new variation gave me such notable segments as "The Rasta Lion" and "The Haunted Dub Forrest" and it allowed an entertaining break from the original score. I found that it also offered me a foundation and the future to search further for more variations.

The "Dub Side of the Moon" and "Eclipse" end as Dorothy is being rescued by her friends and
the chase ensues after them in the Witches Castle. It's not until the 3rd and final repetition that the DSoTM heart beat is heard again, and on the same Gilmour chord strike as Melvyn in the 1st rep
the water has been poured all over The Wicked Witch and she melts into "Speak to Me."

The Witches Castle is... 
The Dark Side of the Moon!

One of the only self imposed rules that I placed on my self right from the beginning of this process was, rule #1, I would not change or edit any of the original TWoOZ footage. I wanted the dialog to accompany the film and my sync to accompany the video. I remained true to that rule #1 with only one or two exceptions. In this case to wrap the sync up properly and with the most impact I slightly altered the beginning of  the DSoTM last repeat. I made my sync center point the same as the 1st chord strike in "Breathe" relates to Melvyn.. a minor difference of 4-5 seconds ahead only this time the chord is struck on the pail of water being poured on the Wicked Witch,. The remainder of the sync rolls out nicely, the return to Oz and the departure, even to the point of quieting down to allow Dorothy's returning home words.  Lastly, "The Great Gig in the Sky" with Claire Torrey's vocals provide a very appropriate credit & title piece exit.


These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

Monday, March 23, 2015


After working at The Mystic Theatre for about 5 years I realized that I should be getting more for my self personally out of the theater than just live mixing, recording and staging the shows. With the access to a 30' x 50' theater screen and a decent Panasonic LCD projector, There aren't a lot of spiffs in my business, a few free drinks, maybe a pie, so It seemed only right that at some point I should want to use the theater for one of my own experiments and productions.

2007 - 2008

In 2007 and 2008, on the original "Wizard of Oz" release date of August 12th 1939 (USA) I held my 1st & 2nd free screenings at The Mystic for friends, staff and crew based on the original hand synced urban legend "Dark Side of the Rainbow" featuring the entire film "Wizard of Oz" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" looped 2 1/2 times.



After 2 years of casually showing the original hand spun "Dark Side of The Rainbow" (DSoTR) sync in the theater, I found that I wanted more from this amazing synchronistic display. It seemed to me that after watching it for more times than I can recall, I could emphasize and even enhance some of the more exaggerated elements of the grand sync by delicately adding parts of the dialog and even a few of the more spectacular Oz audio effects! And so the long process began...

I started by ripping an original MGM re-mastered DVD version of "The Wizard of Oz" (TWoOZ) and placing it in my DELL computer running Sony's Vegas Premier HD and DVD Architect software. Then I loaded and ripped a newly re-mastered Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" (DSoTM) album and placed it along side it's new counterpart. I now had the ability to manipulate both subject matters to enhance the effects that I was looking for. I had a good frame of reference because of all the viewing of the original DSoTR that I had done, so I set out weaving the two together and finalizing the results on to a DVD for test viewing. I probably make this sound rather easy, but in fact because of the limitations of my older DELL computer and the amount of time and patience that it took to work in this environment a lot of times the computer just chugged along waiting to catch up to my inspiration.

I spent the better part of the year in 2009 editing what I would call a movie negative. I carefully edited out most of the music scores and anything that did not line up with a certain amount of tonality, in a sense I searched for the harmony or shall we say the resonance of the two. I found through this process a lot of wonderful small effects that I could enhance and bring to the forefront of my video and more importantly what things I needed to bury to keep the illusion alive. As I edited the piece I was constantly surprised at how well everything lined up . Even right from the beginning with Dorothy running home with Toto to talk with Auntie Em the score seemed to accompany the action and the movements film. I remember letting the two subjects roll the 1st time and wondering how long do I let this go before I feel like I need to interfere with the natural flow of the sync? Amazingly enough it's not until Dorothy begins to sing her "Somewhere over The Rainbow" that the 1st conflict arises. During the song "On The Run" Dorothy is singing and the Pink Floyd score is blended with her in a small section that I entitled "On The Run Over The Rainbow." At first I left the original Oz score out and deemed it to out side of the box, but the more I tweaked it the more I realized that the two had more in common than I first thought.

From there it begins to get a little more complicated as far as editing goes. The 1st scene with Professor Marvel in his trailer is one of the most difficult editing because there are the lyrics in the song "Time" that can't conflict the spoken words of the movie scene. I chose to adjust the over all audio levels of "Time" and placed the piece under the movie dialog hopefully seeking out the best possibility for the two to coexist. This is just one example of the hundreds of edits that I had to find and merge to make this new version come alive. I did have some concerns though, was this whole sync to deep... to much in my own head... tunnel vision always occurs in a process that requires this much concentration and focus. More importantly to me was to try and dispel the bong-wash mentality that restricted it to only cult classic fame. This project is much more important than that, I thought to myself. Self vindication to carry on!

During this stage of the production I was screening a 30 min "Introduction to Oz" opener and then the urban legend itself split into 2 DVD's and in a 2 parts to accommodate the 2 1/2 repetitions that it takes to cover TWoOZ.

So, it was on August 12th 2008 that I showed my 1st edited version of "The Dark Side of Oz" to a
small group of friends, family and co-workers again at The Mystic Theatre this time however it
was something like they had never imagined. People were impressed and baffled at how the two mediums related and intertwined. One of the best descriptions I heard about that evening was
 that it was like a live jig saw puzzle. I took the compliments to heart, thought about it carefully and mustered the courage to continue down what I was now referring to as "The Red Brick Road."

These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

INTRODUCTION TO OZ - Following The Red Brick Road

As I've mentioned in earlier chapters, I have always been drawn to the syncrhonistic elements in life and without really knowing it I have been practicing these skills for years. In this chapter of my book I will try my best to show you the history, connect the dots and lay out my personal theories based on my many years of active pursuit of the nature of synchronicity and mother of all syncs... Where does the red brick road go... If you were to ask me I would direct you to "The Dark Side of Oz" an alternate Oz reality created by myself... within the urban legend itself. Allow me to explain.


Apparently somewhere around 1995 I became aware of a very amazing phenomenon, "The Dark Side of The Rainbow" one that changed my course of direction for ever. For those of you who may be unaware of this synchronistic phenomenon, it occurs when  Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon" (DSoTM) is played at the same time that you watch "The Wizard of Oz." (TWoO) It takes roughly 2 1/2 repetitions of "Dark Side of the Moon" (apx 42:49min) to equal the length of "The Wizard of Oz' (apx 1:40min) and the key to mystery is starting the CD of "DSOTM" on the 3rd lion roar of "TWoO" and then turning down the volume on the TV set so all you here is "DSoTM". This is old school synching at it's best, originally you'd play an official VHS tape or of "TWoOZ" and start the "DSoTM" record or possibly a CD on the 3rd roar of the MGM title and you are off.. 01:41:44 of pure synchronistic bliss!


Time has progressed and so have the techniques for music/movie sync making and It didn't take me long after hand syncing private screenings of "DSOTR" for friends and staff at The Mystic Theatre to want more from the sync's composition. To understand my studio's creative process better, you'd have to understand my tools... At that time my home studio, affectionately known as "The Kitchen Sync" because both of kitchens in my house have pots & pans) consisted of an older Dell Diminsion XPS B800 computer set up with enough memory to support two track audio to digital recording via Sound Forge software and my classic 1980's English Soundtracs 16x8 mixing console. It wasn't until I maxed out the capabilities of that older Dimension XPS and then had to purchase a new dual i7 core DELL XPS 8000 complete with the New Vegas Premiere Video Suite and DVD Architect software that things came together for me. I've been asked a lot of times what software I like to use to make my music video syncs. I chose to stay with Sony Vegas Premiere instead of reinvesting in Final Cut or some other high end editing software largely because I had already invested so much time and money into Sony's Sound Forge audio editing that it just made the most sense to stay with what I had grown to like instead of jumping ship for a big hole with a big shovel.
I have recently added to my computer line-up a new DELL Inspiron 15 - 3000 i5 core series laptop for live show play back and something more mobile. It's a huge leap forward for me because now I can get off of the DVD $ habit and show my DSOOZ in one complete screening at last (2015!)



This synchronistic occurrence has been well documented over the years by a collective group
of movie sync pioneers and artists. The web site the"Synchronisity Arkive" and the original on-line chat room the "Synchboard" were originally created by Michael Johnston aka Arkiver and were born during the infancy of the internet. This is the oldest site on the web when it comes to researching and experimenting with synchronicity, music and movies. (SEE STORY) http://www.synchronicityarkive.com/

"The SynchBoard", which also includes the illustrious Karl Tune (SEE STORY), Merk Coolie Brighton aka Baker B, Michael Allen, Mirror Living, Dave Steiner, Jon Meyer, David Harr aka Diegoknyte. https://www.facebook.com/groups/413912848718884/

The facebook group "Film Album Synchronicities" by Merk Coolie Brighton (SEE STORY") offers us the most elaborate definitions of synchonicitic events and does an excellent job of sorting through the myths and legends from the "Golden Age of Syncing."
 and Merks Blog @ Merk Coolie Brighton aka Baker B - BLOG

"Viral Media Art." I have been a member and contributor of the Synchronicity Arkive since 1998. I am extremely fortunate to have this esteemed group of friends to share this process with. Together we offer the best explanations and demonstrations in the art of practicing film and album synchronicity on the internet. www.ViralMediaArt.com

And now to dispel any thought that I repeat my DSoOZ each year... What follows from here in the next consecutive blog posts are a year by year accounting of each of the 9 performance screenings and how they relate in context to the stage performance and the urban legend itself!


Here are a few links to help clarify the history of the urban legend
RB Charles Savage Home Page - August 1st 1995 - the article that broke the story to the world.

These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

GROUNDATION - A Young Tree Grows

During my tenure as House Engineer at "The Inn of the Beginning" in Cotati CA, I had the pleasure of working with a lot of very bright and creative young musicians that were students at Sonoma State University (SSU). In fact, one of my sales points for improving the clubs sound in general was, as I had said during one of the early business meetings "There are over 7000 kids who live and go to school no more than a mile from this downtown night spot, we should be able to draw a few hundred a night... they all want a home off campus!" As the local bands filtered through I found that there were always a few of the players who were the catalyst of these bands, they were the rhythm section that worked so well together that you could tell that they had been playing together for years!

Although I could go down a long list of which bands that this could describe, I've chosen a band close to my reggae heart... Groundation to point towards the future for other eager and industrious local bands. The band is led by my friend Harrison Stafford, the 1st Instructor of reggae studies at SSU and the rhythm section that I spoke of is Ryan Newman and Paul Spina and when you throw Marcus Urani in on keys into the mix, the foundation of the original Groundation was solid. With a background in jazz and an interest in reggae music it didn't seem long before I realized that I was mixing some very unusual and progressive forms of reggae music.

We had some of the 1st "Tribute to Bob Marley" shows at The Inn and it was a time when the band was exploring it's jazz roots and it's fusion into the form of reggae music and even into it's culture. As I made the move over to The Mystic in 2000 so did Groundation and their fans. The yearly "Tributes to Bob Marley" became local legend and a sold out house was almost always a guaranteed. One of the many things that I loved about working with the band was that we had developed a long standing relationship of trust when it came to the live shows. By that I mean I had the freedom to explore the dub reggae side of life again during the shows, the choreography, something that I missed a lot since my Cardiff Reefer rock'n reggae days. I mean, where else can you get a way with putting an arpeggiating barber pole flange on a snare drum while you spin a real time delay on a vocal during a prime time part of a set?

I will say, and in some ways with some regret, that I was offered the position as Tour House Engineer for the band. If it hadn't been so early on in the building of the Mystic Theatre project for me I might have been able to make time for it. With years of touring behind me I knew what it would mean to go back down that path, I remained true to my heart and the old room and stuck home with family and friends. One of the fun things about watching a band like this mature is just that... like me, they're getting older and you see the ones who have stuck to it, because it's who they are and what they do that counts at the end of the day. The tour schedule and international travel is extensive and can take a toll on a band or at least it's members who have families back at home to love and maintain. A band is a family, a family on the move and sometime family members grow and change to accommodate life's changes.

In 2008 Paul Spina left the permanent line-up of Groundation and the rhythm reins were turned over to Te Kenawa Haereiti aka. Rufus on drum  A new rhythm section was born and locked tight to the groove of their designs. The band continues to tour extensively covering boundaries as far as Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South America and is consistently carrying the message of unity vibe and community throughout the world.

~Harrison Stafford (lead vocals & guitar)
~Marcus Urani (keyboard & B3)
~Ryan Newman (bass)
~Te Kanawa Haereiti (drums)
~Jas...on Robinson (saxophone)
~David Chachere (trumpet)
~Daniel Wlodarcyzk (trombone)
~Kim Pommell (vocals)
~Sherida Sharpe (vocals)

I especially wanted to bring Groundation to the forefront of this blog not only because of our long standing relationship but because I believe that they represent what it takes to make a business out of this thing that so many people just make a hobby. It's not just the music, no matter how amazing, progressive or thought provoking, it's as much the business and the mechanics of that business that brings it all together. Mastering your subject and putting your plan into action.

(for Phil) My mentor Phil Salisbury of Sound Expressions once gave me a great piece of advice to hang on to... "If you don't know what you want in one simple sentence, you really don't know what it is you want!" he also told me that I would never make a good sound man... I was to nice.

These stories are a continuing work in progress, they will be edited until the publication date.


from Wikipidia:

Formed in the fall of 1998 by Harrison Stafford, Marcus Urani, and Ryan Newman, Groundation began on the campus of Sonoma State University's Jazz Program.[1] Between 1999 and 2001, Harrison Stafford taught the first course on the History of Reggae Music at the University.[1] In 1999, Stafford teamed up with Kris Dilbeck to found Young Tree Records and release Groundation's debut album Young Tree.[2] "Groundation" comes from the Rasta term "Grounation". Grounation Day (April 21) is an important Rastafarian holy day, and second after Coronation Day (November 2). It is celebrated in honor of Haile Selassie's 1966 visit to Jamaica.

In 2000 they added to the line up David Chachere, a San Francisco-based jazz trumpeter, and Kelsey Howard, a North Bay trombone player.[1] Saxophonist Jason Robinson was a member of the band for a time, and has since gone on to become the head of the jazz program at UC San Diego. Drummer Paul Spina (Les Claypool, Will Bernard's Mother Bug) has been with the group since taking over for James Stafford in December 2001; he left the group in summer 2008. Kim Pommell and Kerry Ann Morgan (both graduates of Kingston's Ashe performing arts school) joined in 2006, and are featured lead vocalists on Groundation's 2009 release Here I Am. In 2012, vocalist Jhamiela Smith joined the group, daughter of legendary reggae guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith, to sing chorus along with Kim Pommell. They are current chorus vocalists for Groundation.

The nine-piece band creates an altogether new reggae sound, featuring swirling, jazz/funk inspired horns, stout Latin and African based poly-rhythmics, and soulful harmony vocals. Their concerts utilize live improvisation, in classic jazz fashion, and are renowned for their high energy, communion-type atmosphere. Having gained international notoriety for their progressive fusion style, Groundation regularly plays at major international festivals like Summerjam.

The band use analog instruments and recording equipment rather than digital, with Stafford explaining "No digital, we don't work with synthesisers. Just like in the 1970s we stick to that format."[1]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

KARL TUNE "What's the Meaning of This?"

THE DARK SIDE OF OZ - "Following The Red Brick Road"

“What’s the Meaning of This?”
 Karl Tune
 March 2015

 I feel the touch of a world that is older.  I don’t want to be old. My doctor encourages me with, “You are a specimen of perfect health”. But I am putting on weight. I feel gravity more. And I forget more. Time will eventually catch up with me. I read the obituaries every day to see who I outlived.  When I do go, I want to leave some legacy to live on.

 You musicians chronicled here in Professor Teaford’s “Another Day, Another Decibel” are creating the legacy of new music every day.  (It is my honor to be a contributor to this book!) Music is the universal language. Your music will still be here long after we fade away.

There are many fascinating aspects of music.  Here I will address the amazing idea of matching music to seemingly unrelated movies. Just as in the urban legend of Pink Floyd’s 1973 hit “Dark Side of the Moon” with Victor Fleming’s 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” cueing music on the third roar of the MGM Lion at the beginning of the movie. I call this “The Dark Side of Oz” while other refer to it as “The Dark Side of the Rainbow”.

 Why create sound tracks to movies that already have their own sound track? This is actually a complicated question. Matching music to unrelated movies may sound crazy but it also fascinates us. Why not just sit back and relax with the sound track that ALREADY comes with the movie? Even the movie theaters politely remind us, “Please don’t spoil the movie by adding your own sound track!”

We have to go back in time to sort out this illuminating thought process in the search of “why?

Way... back in 1848, Hungarian Musician Franz List started composing Symphonic Poems or Tone Poems.  A Tone Poem is a piece of music that accompanies the content of a poem, short story, painting, landscape or other non-musical source.  This is long before the invention of motion pictures.

 In... 1888, even American Inventor Thomas Edison discussed the prospect of marketing music with movies, years before the first motion picture.

Then in1895, When French bothers Auguste and Louis Lumière presented the first motion picture movie “<p>Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory”,</p> They had a musician playing piano music. They intuitively knew that music was important for movies from the very start. You crave that sensory input!

 During the roaring 1920’s, Silent movies were the biggest employer of musicians to play music with the movie. Musicians had note instructions they referred to as “Fakes” to guide them as they played along with the movie. So it is not a big stretch for musicians to create alternative sound tracks to movies. Sound came with the movies starting in the late 1920’s.  As fellow musicians, you will probably identify with the following.

Alex North was hired in 1967 by Director Stanley Kubrick to score “2001: A Space Odyssey” which was already 2 years into production. Mr. North had already scored music to Mr. Kubrick’s 1960 film “Spartacus” and was ecstatic about working with Mr. Kubrick again. Mr. Kubrick told Mr. North that he really wanted to use a pre-recorded mix of classical music and they would cut the film to the music. Mr. North composed and recorded over 40 minutes of music for “2001”.  Mr. North waited to see more film to score and spot music to. Then Mr. North received word from Mr. Kubrick that no more score was necessary. They were going to use breathing effects for the remainder of the film. “North attended the New York premiere of 2001 (April 1968) expecting to hear his music (he had never been told otherwise).  He left crushed and in shock.” It is evident that none of his music was used in the movie!


More recently in the early 1970’s, I remember reading in LIFE magazine about “Happening Afternoons” hosted by Picasso. Cross media performers stretched the limits of the arts.  The more profound, the better. The pictures of “Happening Afternoons” were profound! What is there to stop Avant Guard musicians from creating secret sound tracks for a movie?  This would be right up their alley. There does not need to be a purpose for this. It is the act itself. The first time I can recall hearing about matching radio music to movies was in 1976 with the following song. Anybody who has suffered through a “B” movie, as we used to call it back then at the drive-in theater double feature, can empathize with The Sylvers’ 1975 song “Boogie Fever” when it sings:

Boogie fever, got to boogie down.

Boogie fever, I think it’s goin’ around.

I took my baby to the drive-in show.

She turned the speaker down.

And then she turned on the radio.

I watched a silent movie diggin’ boogie sound….”

1976 also happens to be the same year SimonID4 first recalls attending a “Dark Side of Oz” party in England.

 In 1981, I first heard of this urban legend of the “Dark Side of the Rainbow” in the United States. There were a bunch of guys relaxing after a hard day’s work. They were unwinding to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and said it was brain candy. They were notorious Pink Floyd fans and said that each of Pink Floyd’s albums matched a movie. It especially made sense to me when they pointed out the strange sound effects that were incorporated into the music “The Wall” were meant to match events in the movie animation “Alice in Wonderland”.  Just then a plane crash ending with a baby coo played and they pointed out which event of the “Alice in Wonderland” it matched.

 I am pretty sure they mentioned another Pink Floyd Album matching “Fantasia”, but I am very sure they told me about “Dark Side of the Moon” matching “The Wizard of Oz” on the third roar of the lion.

 Tripping on music? Hallucinate on music with movies? What’s the meaning of this?!?

 We all have our cultural bias. I have never used illegal drugs. I admit was square and thought you had to use drugs to listen to and understand Pink Floyd music. Just say “no”.  I once had a drug use laugh, “If drugs will fry your mind, then my brain must be atomic power!” So I stayed away from Pink Floyd’s music. Back then, admitting that you listened to Pink Floyd was the equivalent of admitting you smoked pot. And several people remarked as much to me in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

 With video players becoming more common and movie stores opening up, it was not very long before people started trying to match their favorite music with movies. Many people independently came up with this bright idea.

 About 1986, I had my first music to movie experiences.  My wife and I were at a New Year Eve Party. The people hosting the party were playing dance music with a muted movie. We were laughing at how the music matched the movie so much.  Around the same year, my wife and I went to a rugby party with ZZ Top music playing. In a corner of the house, they were playing a pornographic movie. The music was matching the movie action in very funny ways.  They rugby guys were actively trying to match up the two. My wife and I stepped out for some fresh air when we started getting hot.

 Two years later in 1988, a woman wrote an article for the local paper about a Pink Floyd album matching “2001: A Space Odyssey”.  The article was one big spoiler with back ground evidence. I cannot remember any of the article or what album it was.  But a movie store had opened in town. I did know a co-worker who owned both a video player and the “Dark Side of the Moon” LP (that’s a big vinyl record for you youngsters). So I tried to talk my friends into matching the music to “The Wizard of Oz”. They too had heard of this urban legend but were irate that I would suggest it. They laughed that is was a fool’s errand and it was never tried.

 With the advent of the computers sweeping the United States in 1995, it was not long before Alternative Soundtrack Web Sites were set up. We created a synchronicity society where we call ourselves “Synchers” and we match up “Synchs”. We compared and discussed ideas on message boards set up by Baker B and Arkiver.  The Synchronicity Arkive had the “SynchBoard Forum”. Inquisitive people were drawn to the Synchronicity Community by theurban legend “Dark Side of Oz” and we caught them like spiders in a world wide web.

 Carl Jung coined the idea of “Synchronicity”.  The web site ViralMediaArts.com explains and exemplifies how synchronicity is the simultaneous occurrence of casual unrelated events and the belief that the simultaneity has a meaning beyond mere coincidence. It is the universe telling that this means something! As Randy refers to it, a “Cosmic Wink” or a "WoW" moment to let us know we are on to something.

In 1998, my local paper posted little blurbs about interesting web sites on the computer internet. One day, they wrote about a site showing how to match Pink Floyd music to movies. I hopped on the internet. There were three different sites explaining how to match Pink Floyd music to “The Wizard of Oz”.  Michael Johnson’s “Synchronicity Arkive” was definitely one of the ones I checked out for instructions on how to harmonize them. I remember the green bullets for the synchs!

 The next day on the way home from work, I bought both “Dark Side of the Moon” CD and “The Wizard of Oz”.  My mind was heightened with anticipation.  I had longed for ages to try this. I popped some popcorn, read the directions on how to line up the two, and let it rip. Ooooo… I was in awe of how well the two matched. At last, I had the experience! The whole time, my family kept asking to turn the movie volume up so they could hear the Oz dialogue. They really missed the point of what I was trying to do.  We may never know if “DarkSide of Oz” is intentional, but I believed it was all along.

At the end of the year 2001, I wanted to watch Stanley Kubrick’s  movie adaptation of “2001: A Space Odyssey”.  I had seen it when it first opened in the theaters in 1968 or ‘69. I wanted to see if the movie was laughable by today’s standards. Back then, you could run around in a rubber alien suit and it was amazing. I also wanted to try and match “2001” to Pink Floyd since “Dark Side of Oz” had worked so well to me. I did a search of the world wide web. To my surprise there was now a whole internet culture of people involved in the stuff. After trying Pink Floyd’s song “Echoes” with “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite” of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, I was hooked. I thought I would just try a few synchs and then move on to other pursuits. But here I am still, years later.

 In 2001, there was an active message board, “The Film/Album Synchronicity Board” run by Baker B of “The Ultimate Pink Floyd Synchronicities: Dark Side of the Rainbow” web site, but I did not post anything there during my first few months of lurking. My first post there was immensely flamed by some rambling psychotic who was never heard from again.  I was fortunate to have 2% David of “Unusual Synchs” try some of my first synch ideas (was the 2% how much of his time he spent with this hobby?).  In return I tried some of 2% David’s ideas which required me to buy movies for the first time.  They were “Fantasia” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”.  A number of
friends borrowed my “Fantasia” DVD so I did not see that one again for a few years. This hobby also gave me an excuse for buying many music CD’s.

I doubt I would create a web page, but if I did, it would look like Andrew Wendland’s old version of “Pink Floyd Movie Synchronization Story” site.  Besides, how could I compete with Stegokitty’s “Definitive List”, “The Whytless Physh Synch Arkive” or the King of Synchdom, Michael Allen’s “The Synching Ship.”  I was really excited in 2002 when Arkiver created the “Synchronicity Arkive” synch data base which makes our ideas look so professional. Also in 2002, Marco published “The Deconno Report” with revelations too numerous to count. The physical presence of this book made me feel like synching was no longer a myth.  I believe I am continuously influenced by the rest of the synching community. People are constantly surfacing with good ideas.

On the internet, I finally found a group of people who have the cultural bias to perceive synchronizing music to movies! In this mass produced cookie cutter conformation society, we found individuals with a unique specialized vision. We have a sense of fidelity in our collective consciousness. And we exhibited intellectual “Phase Lock” where all the back ground chaos yielded to the productive unison of thought. We do not have to be uniform to be unified.

The synching community created real life manifestations of “Shared Fantasia” and “Shared Fantasia 2000” were group members enhanced those animated shorts with their own music :D .  That idea and creation of “Shared Fantasia” happened in the blink of an eye exemplified the “Phase Lock” mind meld the synching community shared.

We debate backwards and forwards about music intent for “The Dark Side of Oz”.  And then we argue some more about it!  We all admit that “The Dark Side of Oz” is the common experience, the grand conjunction, which we can all relate to. As newbies, we all thought it was fantastic. But then we all thought we could do better and listed all our discoveries. Many many discoveries!

Steggokitty’s “Definitive List” was a more exhaustive list; Hundreds of ways that “The Dark Side of the Moon” matched “The Wizard of Oz”! At first glance, these matches seem to be too fantastic to be mere random coincidence! I had “The Dark Side of Oz” parties to showcase this amazing paradox. How could Pink Floyd create a music sound track for a movie that we all grew up loving and fearing the flying monkeys!

  Dr. Mike Casey tried to settle the intent debate once and for all by doing a moment by moment subjective matching analysis of “The Dark Side of Oz”.  He concluded that there was too much un-harmonized time for the matching of the two to be an intentional sound track pairing.

I too believe that I have moved on spacially from “The Dark Side of Oz” so that the music and movie entities are no longer in conjunction from my perspective in space and time. But it still holds a special place in my heart ♥.

We many never figure out “intention” on “The Dark Side of Oz”.
KARL TUNE - 3/5/15
But I leave you with one question...
Who discovered “The Dark Side of Oz”?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

MERK COOLIE BRIGHTON - Resonance Is So Important - Part 1

VIRAL MEDIA ART - "What Is A Music Video Sync"

facebook Group
Merk Coolie Brighton / Baker B:
I was reading up today a bit on Randy Teaford's aka The Professors theories about setting up synchs...

Randy synchs the famous Sing'n in the Rain sequence with Billy Idol's Dancing with Myself. He calls it a 1 Drop Synch, "in other words, like "The Dark Side of Oz" it has only one start point and runs the continuous length of the piece."

In my terminology, when I talk seriously about synching every once in a while, this can be called a tile, with one cue point -- the one degree of manipulation (cuing music with video) that creates or reveals the synchronicity. One can call this a tile because it can be fitted into a larger concept composed of several or even many such cued regions. For example, I've also created a tile using Gene Kelly's dance in the rain, a "1 Drop Synch" (drop... rain... good one Randy!). The track is ELO's Stand'n in the Rain, and I found it about a year and a 1/2 ago after some experimentation with the Sing'n in the Rain movie as a whole down through the years now. It's one that I knew would work even before I mashed them together in reality. It's also a tile in the relative middle of a larger work of tiles -- central in several ways.

Randy also talks about centerpoints in discussing his Sing'n in the Rain synch: "Like most of my syncs I have what I call a center point and my ultimate goal is to edit the video or music as little as possible. I look for a major "wow moment" where both mediums connect into something more than just a random moment of coincidence and line them up in my video and backtrack from there. In the case of what I call "Dancing In The Rain" the center point comes near the beginning just as Gene opens his arms in that big Ta-da moment and as Billy Idol's song hits the 1st title chorus... "Dancing With Myself." A true 1-drop sync, no editing just that one start point, wind it up and watch it go!"
I believe this is a natural way to cue up these 1 Drop Synchs or straight synchs as Karl may call them. These natural cues can come at the beginning, the end, or anywhere in-between in the tile or "cued region".

So let me go back to DSotR (aka Dark Side of Oz) since that's the one people will be familiar with. The standard cue for this most popular of all a/v synchronicities is the 3rd roar of MGM mascot Leo the Lion. However, to me if we look at it closer we have a nifty internal cue (this is what I'd call a ""wow moment" to use Randy's word turn) where the bike riding Gulch appears right as the cacophony of bells begin in the DSotM track "Time". If DSotR was crafted on purpose, this seems like the primary cuing point.

So is Leo's 3rd lion roar just a kind of random element that someone traced back to or backtracks from Gulch-Bells to properly align DSotM with TWoO? This appears *not to be the case*, and that's where we can pass from conscious creation by the syncher (or possibly the musician or group of musicians who consciously created the synch, if you're using that angle) into something else. Logically a tile does not have 2 natural cues or 2 degrees of manipulation. It has one: "1 drop". The rest is synchronicity.

From here we can go into the differences between synchronicity and synchronization.To me, tiling is still synchronicity through and through. Each tile is a "1 Drop", but also linked to others to create a kind of *rain* of drops. There -- I figured out where *that* was going.

Read more from Merk in the 2003 Oz/Floyd Paradox interview @

THE MYSTIC THEATRE - Ronnie Montrose

It's only been a little over 3 years since we lost Ronnie Montrose, one of the most driven guitarist's that personally I have ever known. You get to know a person when you hold their music in your hands, and if it's someone you respect and appreciate as an artist it's all the more of an honor. I've never toured as a House Engineer with Ronnie but I've had the pleasure of the house mix on at least 20-30 shows through the years and enjoyed each and every time!

My 1st exposure to Ronnie Montrose and his sound wasn't with his bands "Montrose" or "Gamma", it was around 1985 in a small club in Cotati that we affectionately called "The Cotati Cabaret". I was in my period of 1 man band approach to performance and music scoring and computers and sequencers we're starting to be seen on stage as counter-parts and collaborators in extensively more complex technological performances. I was never on staff at "The Cab", but I enjoyed some of my very 1st club mixing experiences there with quite a few local bands and even played there on a few occasions. So when I heard through friends that Ronnie Montrose was booked there with Mitchell Froom as a guitar and keyboard computer sequence driven duo, I made my plans immediately!

I was really looking forward to this show, I had even gone so far to find a spot a head of time where I could get the over all best sound and view. I scoped out a couple road cases side stage and with the thumbs up from one of the club techs I planted myself on one of them, ready for entertaining and educational show. It was quite a large stage set up too, an extensive keyboard synthesizer rig with racks of processing gear, sound modules and drum machines with banks of guitar amps and speakers lining the rear wall of the stage.

I could try to describe to you what this experience was like for me... wide eyed would barely express how I looked and felt as the show began. Ronnie and Mitchell began with a boom and thundered their way through one of the most electrifying and rocking instrumental sets that I had ever heard or seen. They proved to me that night that regardless of the limitations of an all electric band, passionate and intelligent music and performances were not only just a possibility, but the honesty of that pure rock'n roll would prevail.

I was recently reminded of one of our shows with Ronnie at The Mystic Theatre. We weren't necessarily "friends" but for some reason he always felt comfortable with telling me things, I like to think that it was because he felt so comfortable with our shows together through the years, he knew he could trust me with his sound and means a lot when it comes to the details of your day. One time he looked over at me during a sound check and motioned to me. "Do you have a screwdriver? I've got to get these damn Bogner logos off my speaker cabs."... "If they're not going to take of me I'm not going to promote them!" That's one of the things that I enjoyed about working with Ronnie, he was a pretty straight a head guy and always said what he thought. After he pulled those 2 logos off his boxes and handed them to me and said... "Don't let me see those on EBay!"
I've still got them to this day!

On our last show together in 2012at The Mystic he arrived at load in with a huge smile on his face. Evidently he had just been given "The Green Card" as he put it, on his pancreatic cancer treatments that he had been battling for years. I don't believe that anyone comes back 100% after a round of treatments like that but he looked like he was ready to take on the world or at least that stage tonight. He tore into the set full force and I held on to the knobs on the console like reins on a run away horse, what a thrill! It's one of those shows where at the end of the night the thing that hurts the most is my mouth from smiling to much.

Our last words together were on the way out the door walking up the ramp at the end of the night, "That felt really good man... do you think I over played it?" "not at all Ronnie", I said, "you rocked it!" Thanks for all the shows and the trust in our work together my friend, you were one of my full circles, someone who's music and history I respected and had the honor to hold close to my heart.

Ronnie Montrose was a man who lived life on his own terms and unfortunately after another cancer remission ended it the same way, RIP Brother, our work here together is done.
November 29th 1947 - March 3rd 2012

Ronne Montrose RIP Bad Motor Scooter live at mystic trubute. Never before seen footage