Tuesday, April 29, 2008

1994's 'TweekMaster Craig' Re-Tweek-Mastered!

In the summer of 1994, John Kaczanowski and I decided to record an album so that Greg Lester would have something to listen to in his new home down in Mesa, Arizona. The recording was titled: Naked Genius Productions [present their first recording]: Were You There When They Crucified Our Lord?.The standout single was a tribute to the Thrill Seeker lifestyle popularized by our West Michigan Motorsport Enthusiast Co-Workers entitled 'TweekMaster Craig'. It had been our idea to write a song with a refrain that was actually a vocal representation of a motorcycle engine, performed in the same style as the aforementioned co-workers when they described fun-filled weekends of rubber burnin' and mud boggin'. John played rhythm guitar and I was on keyboards; we shared the lyrical chores:

John: Hey Kurt, maybe you can help me before we go back and listen to everything again.

Kurt: Sure, what's up Kacz?

John: Do you want to do everything in unison or do you want to swap back and forth?

Kurt: Well how about I take the first stanza, you take the second and we'll just rock on from there?

John 'Naked' Kaczanowski

I decided to take a break from the painstaking digitization process of the Naked Genius Productions featuring Greg Lester archives when I came across the TweekMaster Craig promotional video. It had been several years since I had seen it and I was not disappointed. John did such an amazing job of cobbling together the analog video on our old bedroom band consumer quality equipment that he really should be proud of himself. I am so happy that I am able to present his vision and our lyrics and music here today in a new color-corrected digital version. I spoke to him on the phone this afternoon and he was quite enthusiastic that the song would finally see the light of day.

Kurt 'Genius' Weller

We hope you enjoy:

TweekMaster Craig
He's a one of a kind
Screaming 'Bloody Monkey'
Bogging out his mind

Tweeking like a 'Guv'ner'
Rack and Pinion Cock
Tooled Survival Leather
He'll give you quite a shock

He's the Hot Shot
Hot Shot
TweekMaster Craig

Maaa Waaa
Maaa Waaa

TweekMaster Craig
He's a one of kind
Screaming 'Bloody Monkey'
Bogging out his mind

'Sweet Cherry Die!'
Betty's Dripping Hot
Craig eats her Pie
Pull-Out's what She's got

He's the Hot Shot
Hot Shot
TweekMaster Craig

Maaa Waaa
Maaa Waaa

TweekMaster Craig
He's a one of a kind
Screaming 'Bloody Monkey'
Bogging out his Mind

He's the Master of Sex
He's the Master of Wheels

He's the Master of Sex
He's the Master of Wheels

He's the Master of Sex
He's the Master of Wheels

He's the Hot Shot
Hot Shot

TweekMaster Craig!

(c) 1994 John Kaczanowski, Kurt Weller

David Pirkola Healthcare Fund

I was saddened to find out that David Pirkola, owner of the Apparitions Comic and Bookstore in Kentwood, had been shot last Friday night in a hold up.

I spent many a penny at Apparitions in the early nineties, as it was one of the first shops in the area to carry my favorite manga titles. Mr. Pirkola was a very warm-hearted man who truly enjoyed chewing the comic book fat. He always made sure that your books were in on time and that you left with something in your hand and a little less in your pocket.

Please take a moment to join the Plaza of the Mind in sending out some good vibes to him, and if you happen to be financially blessed as well, a donation fund has been set up for Mr. Pirkola over at ifanboy for anyone interested in helping him out.

Best wishes Dave!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here is a Picture of my Daughter

I was told that this was the name of my website.

I felt that I must create this in case the person that informed me of this was somehow, somewhere correct.

I have no idea what it signifies or what if will contain but have a feeling that time will tell.

Monday, April 14, 2008

There is also an Owlman

The Owlman was seen in England in the nineteen seventies.

He is reminiscent of Mothman in that he has red eyes and makes strange sounds though the Owlman reportedly hisses rather than squeeks.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Brother Tapes


Greg Lester
sent me a cassette back in 1992. It was a four-track EP entitled the Brother Tapes. It was a mix of poetry and ambient guitar. It is my favorite Greg Lester work. Greg has recorded many amazing songs since the Brother Tapes but something about that cassette touched me in a way that nothing else ever did. It was an amazing experience and it was made by a friend and he had thought of me when he had recorded it. I knew this because he had included an introduction.

I remember the day the package had come to my dormitory mail room. I was so excited. It was a weeknight but I didn't care. I locked myself in my dorm room and listened to the recording on my Walkman. I will never forget that night, perhaps one of the most important moments of active listening I have ever experienced.

Greg had recorded the record using two tape decks, a mic and an acoustic guitar. I remember walking through the West Michigan winter on a trail leading from my apartment complex to a strip mall and the amazing yet short lived Mad Cat comic shop listening to the Brother Tapes.

I talk to Greg three to four times a week. For this I am thankful. Sometimes I wish for those days so badly that my heart aches. But I still have the Brother Tapes to take me back. I can exist in the reality of the Brother Tapes. I can pretend that the last sixteen years have been a wonderfully twisted night terror.

If we are lucky Greg will put the Brother Tapes up for all to hear. Until then I will count myself as one of the privileged few to actually own a copy. I played the tape for a few people back in college. Most of them liked it, the ones that didn't were stupid fuckers.

Thanks Greg.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Plaza of the Mind Interview with Tesco Vee!

In the following interview I was able to share how I was first introduced to the musical stylings of Mr. Tesco Vee and his legendary band The Meatmen. I have been a huge fan of Mr. Vee's work since I was a West Michigan teen. Tesco inspired me in that he was a local boy made good. He wrote a song about the Beatles called 'One Down Three to Go' and coveted the works of Abba. In the era of U2 and Midnight Oil and their lament-pop of injustice and the environment I think that Tesco's refusal to apologize for wanting to focus on having a good time was a huge inspiration for me and my friends and a much needed elixir for that era of the guilt-trip.

I was thrilled that Mr. Vee accepted an invitation to the Plaza of the Mind. I found him to be every bit as friendly and irreverent as I had always imagined he would have been. The only thing that could have made me happier was if this interview had been conducted live and over some Bell's, but I will take what I can get.

[The Plaza of the Mind quotes appear in Bold-type, Mr. Vee's in normal-type]

Coming from nearly the same spatial environment that you have, yours was a much needed voice during my formative years, especially when I used to hang out at the Breton Village Mall and felt like I was like the Man Who Fell To Earth, what inspired you the most to be able to create such a controversial persona?

You know I've always had the 13 year old warped sense of humor, and have always been passionate about music..Punk just broke down that 'you have to be proficient on your instrument' barrier so anyone could do it...I was inspired by The Fugs, The Mothers, Captain Beefheart et al & nbsp; as far as the whacked out nonsense lyrics and rockin' Michigan combos like the MC5! Michigan has produced some of the greatest bands ever!

What was your favorite Meatmen era?

Hmmm, they all have merit and all were good fun...Think the tightest bunch was the 1994-96..the early days however had the magic..the whole hardcore thing was so new and exciting..the 80's saw us drawing much bigger crowds and the whole thing just blew up...

What has been your strangest fan interaction?

People have come up and asked me to do weird stuff like burn em with cigarettes, give em one of my turds, kookie stuff like that..I always went for the throat, and said the most ridiculous shit I could think of to get a rise out of folks..shock them out of their media induced stupor! That's why I'm dusting off the pipes..Its time to fuck up the next generation!

I always enjoyed the comic strips in the Meatmen liner notes - any chance that those will be collected into one volume?

Not sure..I'm trying to get in touch with Brian Pollack the genius who drew em to do the album cover of the new CD..all my favorite cover songs..The Meatmen 'Cover The Earth' out late 2008

What does a day in the life of Tesco Vee look like?

Fairly normal..I'm a Phone man, Family man, old Toy collector, Big Bore Japanese motorbike rider, micro brew swiller, Organized religion hater..all my waking hours are taken up with the aforementioned avocations and hobbies...and getting all the old CD's and T shirts back in print!

What is your favorite Kalamazoo hot spot?

The last time I went back there almost everyplace that I used to hang out at had been torn down. Ya kazoo has seen some hard times...I like the Kraftbrau...cool place to see bands and drink the Microbrew..Bell's is the greatest beer on the planet! 2 Hearted Ale will put hair on your weenbag! Downtown Kalamazoo still beats the fuck outta downtown Lansing, much hipper with cooler restaurants and watering holes.

I'm quite happy to see that you will be re-issuing the Meatmen oeuvre, it took me a while to track down a cd of 'Rock and Roll Juggernaut'. I used to have the cassette but I literally wore it out. I know people say that all of the time but that one was probably the only cassette that I ever actually wore out. My Uncle bought me a copy of 'We're the Meatmen and you Suck,' for the Christmas of '87 or '88 from Believe in Music. He said he knew I liked Metallica and that the Meatmen were close on the shelf and he thought the cover was cooler than the Metallica ones. I took an immediate love for that record and we played it for my whole family. My Uncle repeated this for several years, a Meatmen cassette for every Christmas of the late eighties. My father is German and my Uncle and I asked him to translate 'Dichstrudel'. He said 'it means 'give it to me up the ass', what the hell are you listening to?' I just wanted to share that with you. Any good tales of your youth in the Christian Reformed milieu of West Michigan?


Actually growing up in Kalamazoo was idyllic except for all the goddamn religion! Creek to swim in, woods, little girls to molest, it was great..then when I was 14 my parents moved us to King Of Prussia PA outside of Philly..really messed me up..I hated it there but made a lifelong friend..My high school principal was a mass murderer JC Smith...Joseph Wambaugh wrote a book about him..My dad was the school superintendent so I got beat up a lot!

Is there going to be any Abba on Cover the Earth?

Fuck ya! But I'm not telling which one...Its a rocker though...perfect for a meaty rendition!

In light of recent events will there be a 'two down two to go'?

We already have in Detroit last May..the song has been officially renamed!

What is your favorite form of architecture?

Hmmm..for the first time in my life I'm speechless..you stumped me..I'll say the kind that Mike Brady designed on the Brady Bunch..

I always liked Kalamazoo better than Lansing. Did you know that Kalamazoo is home to one of the first pedestrian malls created by Victor Gruen, the man who invented the indoor mall?

I did not know that..I used to walk that mall as a yound boy..take the bus dowwn to Louie's Pipe Shop and buy a Mad Magazine or a Nudie Mag if Louie was feelin benevolent...I think both towns have their goodness,,,Lansing would be real lame if it wasnt for my beloved MSU! Go Green!

If I were to get a motorcycle, which kind would you recommend? I've always been a big David Cronenberg fan and I know he liked the Ducati but the whole subject seems rather complicated and inaccessible to me.

Ducati's are cool..I almost bought a 900 Monster once...I prefer big bore Jap..Suzuki..If I had 12 large laying around I'd drop it on a Hayabusa 1300...more sexy than a woman! Its not inaccessible at all..just hop on and twist the throttle and feel the slingshot acceleration, the white line fever, the high pitched whine of all that rice a burnin'..Its really a spiritual thing..nothing quite like it..unless you can afford a Ferrari...