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The Best Music for the Summer of 2018
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Who (or What) is Ramoca?
"Ramoca" came to be in a flash of (mildly cynical) inspiration, as just the sort of trend that takes off in our degraded times. While, once, the idea of "Give me liberty or give me death" might have taken fire, roaring around the world while changing hearts, lives, and minds, now it's the demented ideas of adult three year-olds who come up with such concoctions as...sorry, I've not been paying attention to pop culture recently – when was this, anyway? – well, "Put a ring on it" or something.
Whose times were better, the times of great ideas, or the times of pop cultural ephemerisms(1)? (Ours, clearly, as we can fly now and do all sorts of other cool stuff. Our times are better for some things, definitely...)
But (and it's a big BUT) as for our minds, our souls, our spirits? Those things that (once upon a time) mattered most?
Those times when people thought thoughts, rather than bought bots, had some advantages...
But what if there were a way to combine the two...
I bring you a brand new age:
Welcome, Peasants, to the Age of Ramoca
Bow down and worship her, scum. (Sorry, it's not really that kind of religion. But it was fun to say...)
Which brings me to Ramoca's subtext, or, more, its/her real meaning.
1 In fact, the film you see is largely edited from a trip to Africa, filming for my Share Music project.
2 And as you see, I'm jumping up and down with shamans (including one very cute shaman :D ) Shamans, however misguided they may be about which spiritual force they should be interested in, are, undeniably, connected with spiritual forces (of some sort or another.)
If you've ever spent time in a place like this (Africa, say, in our example here,) you know that spiritual things actually work, they have power. Too (too too) many people have too (too too) many personal experiences with weird stuff, for anyone who's spent some time in these places to disbelieve it. Now, whether its good or bad I leave to the philosophers and theologists, but that it's real there is no doubt.
In the same (or a similar) way, when music comes to me (and also, sometimes, when I travel), a true, real, and measurable spiritual force (synchronicity was Jung's term for it) takes over, at least at times. It's really true, it's not my superimposing mental patterns on random events, it's just not. Cynics are simply, and uniformly, inexperienced. You will find no cynic who's spent time in the real world. Put yourself in these sorts of situations, and you will see it's true. (It's almost impossible to experience the magical sparkling effervescence of Ramocanism™ in the relatively urban and fluorescently-lit world you inhabit – and if you're a cynic, I guarantee, that's where you live....)
And so, beneath the pop culture cynicism of "Ramoca" is this: Ramoca is the sparkles that you (even you city dwellers) can see in the video, and that I (and my fellow travelers) can feel when travelling, making music, (and a few other places/ways/times.) (And you can too, just through the magic of this song...) It's a kind of good, sparkly, spiritual energy. (I don't know, and thus have no opinion about, whatever spiritual forces the shamans may be dealing with. That's not my bag, man.)
My bag is...rrrrrrrRAMOCA!!!!
(1) I'm well aware I'm inventing a new word, "ephemerisms". Great people can create neologisms. Deal with it.
Can Pop Music that Doesn't Mean Anything Mean Something?
Pop Music's New Golden Age (Literally...ish)
Thank you for all your kind comments over the years, and other support. I've met a lot of you in person. Thank you.
But last summer, as you (may) know, I took 135 videos off my Youtube account, which made – I dunno – 135,000 comments disappear? 50,000? Whatever, a lot.
Because I had a vision. (In a vaguely literal way...)
I live (sometimes) in a country in which a citizen is never called a citizen. We are all called "consumers", as if that's what we're here for. To buy things other people sell us.
Hey, and it works on one level. We've got great f***ing soap.
But I had a vision. It was to stop churning out junk to attract "eyeballs" and give me good "SEO", good "ROI", and lots of "click-throughs", all while being "sticky".
It was to open up your eyes – all few hundred thousand of you – and show you the light. (In an quasi-literal fashion.)
See, what happened was, I met these Indians. Whoo whoo Indians. (American Indians.) (For the politically correct amongst you, who find that term "offensive", that's what they call themselves – which you'd know, if you actually knew any Injuns.)
Anyway, long story, they took me to a sweat lodge. I freaked out. I have–at least situational–claustrophobia (or at least I'm not a fan of hot dark smokey places for several hours.) So I went out into the...garden/yard/forest and started talking to some girl who gave me...LSD. A tiny amount. They call it "microdoses". And it was even less than that. Like a fifth of a microdose.
But it still worked. And I guess gave me the modern, western version of what the sweat lodge was supposed to do.
The world was filled with sparkling light. The spirit of the universe, it seemed to me.
This seems somehow connected with my journey, around the world, to find the essence of music, the quality of music that brings a kind of deep seated cosmic joy, that moves souls, moves bodies, opens minds, expands spirits, and, basically, rocks.
And also, it poses this question: What happens when you take the spirit of Aldous Huxley, and combine it with someone used to making viral Youtube videos?
The answer: rrrrrRamoca.
The Share Music Project is, in part, an extension of this. At least partially, the goal of The Share Music Project is to find the spiritual energy of music, that's all but invisible (inaudible, too!) in the cr** cranked out by most music companies, etc.
They view you as consumers, and their music as soap.
I view you as a sparkling lights (even if quasi-dormant) waiting for a spark to light your way, ignite your spirit, and rock your world.
Make your choice. Them or us.
The Most Perfect Pop Song Since Good Vibrations
Muzikifi vs. Brian Wilson
Once upon a time, pop music was clever.
Cole Porter, say...
In another era, pop music became amazing and cool...Jimi Hendrix, say.
In yet another era, pop music became groundbreaking and transgressive. Say, the Beastie Boys.
And then...Miley Cyrus came along, followed by Justin Bieber, and One Direction, and pop music began to just suck.
Muzikifi had actually been so embarrassed about his early versions of Ramoca that it acted as a catalyst for The Share Music Project, inspiring his trip around the world to learn about music...But he now listened to Ramoca with with fresh ears, and a (literal) world of experience, and thought: "If I do a little bit of this" (learned from a horn player in South Africa), "and a little bit of that" (learned from a classical percussionist in Germany) "then the vision in my soul....the feeling of music I could always feel....begins to be expressed in a way that others can now experience it, too!...I mean, yeah, Ramoca is the kind of song an eight year-old would make, as that was all I knew when I started it. But now it's – at least – like a f***ing cool eight year-old!"
Anyway, inspiration and a (literal) world of experience took over, and Muzikifi, full of the musical knowledge he gained around the world, was now able to infuse Ramoca with both the magic and musical technique he learned on the Share Music Project. Also, with some of the video shot during the Share Music Project, Muzikifi created a visual cacophony to accompany the rather cacophonous Ramoca song, while also doing enough higgery jiggery on Ramoca for some to say he was walking in the footsteps of Brian Wilson, who also spent aeons turning a huge sonic mess into his own miniature pop masterpiece: Good Vibrations.
Is Ramoca the best pop song of the millennium? Maybe not. But maybe it is. Maybe it's the best song of the decamillenium. Centamillenium? Megennium?! Decamegennium?!? Centamegennium?!?! Could be – just saying – the best song of the Gigennium? Or even...just possibly, the best song of the Decagigennium. Centagigennium? Terrennium?! Decaterrennium?!? Centaterrennium?!?! Possibly...just saying – the best pop song of the Petennium.
Even, maybe, Ramoca is the best pop song of the Decapetennium, Centapetennium, Exennium? Decaexennium, Centaexennium, Zettennium, Decazettennium, Centazettennium?! The choices are seemingly limitless. The best pop song, perhaps – just saying, not to be hyperbolic, but...of the Yottenium?!?
Or – just saying – maybe the best pop song of the Decayottenium? Possibly, but to be perfectly honest and brutally frank – probably not the best pop song of the Centayottenium. That would just be vain, to claim that. (Top two.)
More Episodes & Music Coming
From South Africa, Germany, Iceland (maybe), Japan, and...more?