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SocietyFringePodcast's podcast

Through this podcast SFP is creating an extended universe through the use of guitar based pop songs. The tale is both episodic and serial. As of the COVID lock down the SFPeeniverse consisted of 7 Broadway style musicals. This is ambitious stuff. The conceit is that an '84 Chevy El Camino acts as a TARDIS catalyst connecting the characters to unlimited story telling opportunities.
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Now displaying: 2021
Nov 24, 2021

Here's the Society Fringe Podcast denouement for 2021. This line won't leave my head. "The open road might call your name / The sky might burn a crimson hue of lust." 

Nov 17, 2021

Everything I wrote before this led up to it and everything since is coming to terms with it. I'll include the lyrics this time. The vocals are odd in spots because I was choking back tears. I never thought this would get done.

Your world ain't my world
But my sun is your sun
And I guess that it always was
Cry, forgotten ones

Love and hate
Congregate
Celebrate
Love and Hate

Dawn don't feel so good
'Cause nothing's understood
And she's been wasting time
And she's been forced to find a new time

Barely holding on
Tracking footsteps in the rain
Of a darkness spawned
Never going home again
She's insane
She's insane
She's insane
She's insane

Midnight's broken
The highway's spoken
"I don't have a soul"
Thought Remote Control
Heaven's cruelest joke
Crossroads sign is broke

Dawn breathes reprieves
Remote just leaves
Dawn burns best at night
When she feels it's right
From her flows a glory
Hellkind's meanest story

Dawn wakes up beneath Remote Control
Knows that she's there just to play her role
Naked oozing love she becomes light
Leaves her drooling walks out through the night
To the show
To the show
To the show
To the show

Remote Control never will wake up
Dawn's spent ashes combust and erupt
Become one with everything and sing
Desperate for the hope tomorrow brings

To the show
To the show
To the show
To the show

She's reading Dharma Bums
Preaching with a gun
Haiku in the sun oh my sweet Jesus
Flower petal burns
Crash a sharp right turn
Nothing's what you earn when you're in pieces

Maybe she met you
Made you join her crew
Poetry for you that's nothing special
Crack the whip and dash
Where the sorrows clash
Happiness is what she did embezzle

Naked on the TV screen
Dawn hit the mainstream
I saw her on the magazine
Freak in the mainstream

Everybody's angst
Is all but a prank
Payed by you on you in times of vigor
Dogma by the ton
Everyone got one
Shouting it about al full of rigor
So be a Dharma Bum
Suck your goddamn thumb
Curl into a ball that's like a fetus
Where's her zen cash crew?
They don't know what to do
Baby, we just need someone to lead us

Give me fish I'm on my knees
Freaks in the mainstream
I saw her on the magazine
What does it all mean?

And when the lights go down
We're lying naked on the ground
And when the lights come up
We mean to interrupt
And when the light does bend
Then we're you're only friends
And when the light does fade
We sing our serenade

In my fantasy dance billions
Chilling in a skinless ville
Come forth and feel the beating of the drums
When orgasmic screams of passion
Happen and the waves crash at
A distant forest fire that's just the sun
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup

In an ancient land a man stood motionless
He called forth all the powers of the devil
To his hand
In a modern time cry people
Looking for a savior
Find the strength to live
You got it
Form a band
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup

War torn like a tenement
It's all a big experiment
There ain't no wrong or right when you hate god
Evil seeps like rotting corpses
Lectured on in college courses
Piling up as if it were not odd
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup

Underneath the circus tent
There sits a man his back is bent
And in his hand his only son he holds a knife
He says "hey, son, go on and do
the job it's just begun
and slice the trapeze rope it's all, yeah, just a life"
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup

Inside a cab a slab of meat
Drives aimless through the city streets
He works for nothing
Gunfight all the time
Then one fine day he snaps and wraps
His hand around a nine and zaps
A gas and go quadruple murder crime
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup

Walls of water feed corruption
Deconstructed interruptions
Naked timeless tunnels of the soul
Bang and pop and cry the sky
Shines on newborn forgotten son
To teenage momma born from rock and roll
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup
Sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup sinkittup

Your world ain't my world
But my sun is your sun
And I guess that it always was
Cry
Forgotten ones

Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum

A song for all the hearts that are departed
A song for all the hearts that are departed
A song for all the hearts that are departed
A song for all the hearts that are departed

Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum

Walking through
Ancient Rome
Everything's the same
So I turn my back
To the riverbed
And children and their games

Hello, friends
I'm here to please
To break the wickid ways
Life's a myth a
And so is this
And so is judgement day
I seen too soon
Another swoon
Running from a gun
I felt the world
Shrivel up
Hell I'm only having fun
Interviewing Dawn on judgement day
Interviewing Dawn on judgement day

Subadai
Took Europe's sons
And put them in the grave
Built a world
On top of them
Vanished in the haze
The Khan he sighed
'Cause he was bored
And turned his mind to east
Crushed their souls
Drank from bowls
Took pleasure in the feast
Interviewing Dawn on judgement day
Interviewing Dawn on judgement day

"What you done?"
Said Caesar's son
And plunged the knife in deep
The Gallic ones
Were slaughtered by
The Roman Nobilise
Nobody lived
To tell the tale
History turned her back
IRL
For you and me
It started in Iraq
Interviewing Dawn come judgement day
Interviewing Dawn come judgement day

A song for al the hearts that are departed
A prayer for those who never got it started
A valentine for all the broken hearted
A joke for all the bitterness departed
A blindman's leap into a void suggestion
A glimpse of hope for all thoise in depression
No answer to the everlasting question
Bask, become a target, no regression
Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum
Welcome to the vacuum

If the world were perfect the dodo would live
Brotherhood and sisterhood woud be the words to give
Laughter would float endlessly up through a tearless sky
Giant trees would shade a peace that never says "goodbye"
In a world levitation
Don't stand in line to find regeneration in all human kind
You need no explanation
Feel free to see reality
And be for what you want to be
Although I know the show won't start
Take aim and touch my bleeding heart

If the world were perfect I wouldn't lose my keys
War would be a rhyme for door and there would be no need for peace
A skinless man and woman would be all that we would need
Money would be funny and we'd all say "what is greed?"
But all the time my optimism fades
And I get too hung up to struggle for the shade
The world seems so unkind
Build the nerve to climb out of this hole

If the world were perfect I wouldn't sing this song
If the world were perfect we'd be one big dancing throng
In a world levitation
Don't stand in line to find regeneration in all human kind
You need no explanation
Feel free to see reality
And be for what you want to be
Although I know the show won't start
Take aim and touch my bleeding heart

Packed in the slave ship side by side
The slave ship captain enjoy the ride
They bought and sold him flesh on leash
From his home on the African beach
And they trade his heart for gold
What the white man sold

The war was fought bondage gone
1860s protest song
General Lee to MLK
Elvis Presley in the USA
And the time she rumbles on
Hatred not long gone
And she knows what she knows

At he dawn of our millennium
Bottled water and titanium

Packed in the ghetto side by side
His father owned his father they're side by side
Neither one can make the rent
Hatred raging action spent
Cry forgotten ones

I can walk away disgusted
It ain't us against them
It's us against us
It's friend against friend
So you know everything
So you have got it done
So your world will live on
Cry forgotten son

Your world is so mapped out
From what your father planned
Smile at the face of sickness
It bites the other hand
'Cause your world ain't my world
But my sun is your sun
And I guess that it always was
Cry forgotten ones

Your world ain't my world
Killing for your god
Written in the scriptures
Your word is a lie
People work and people play
People sing and people dance
People love and people hate
People live and people die
Your world ain't my world
Your world ain't my world
Your world ain't my world
Your world ain't my world

Nov 10, 2021

This was written and released during prohibition. It sounds strange to say these days but in the old days you would get locked in a cage for having this plant in your pocket! We all know the intentions of the war on drugs by now. More like the war on blacks, hippies, and AIDS patients. Anyway, I like mainstream country every once in a while and I always imagined that Toby Keith might take a liking to this and sing it on one of his albums he released while the Afghanistan War was still popular.

Nov 3, 2021

To me this is the ultimate Circle 9 recording. From Joe's string quartet guitar solo via ebow, to the folk rock explosion after the last verse, to the George Harrison style back up vocals at the end, to the woeful tale of an out of control young-in searchin' for...he doesn't even know what! Something is empty. Something somewhere is off. I love this recording.

Oct 27, 2021

I really really really like this recording. Joe's using the vocoder. We rarely ever played this live. It barely registered when we worked it up for recording. It was a "meh" song. Of course, as me and Bri learned through out the course of THE BIG OPERA, you just can't predict which recordings are going to stick. This'n sure did.

Oct 20, 2021

This is gorgeous. I love the interplay between Joe's and my guitars. We had an electric and an acoustic version. We mashed them up. This is the prettiest shit with which I've ever been associated.

Oct 13, 2021

Look. It was absolutely insane and unexpected when the Raves won their first Super Bowl. I had been traumatized by the Colts leaving in 1984. My brother and I had season tickets. That we (WE!) came out of nowhere and rode off into the sunset as World Champs, in a way, it made me believe that anything was possible. Little stupid Baltimore, nothing since the O's won the World Series in 1983. We didn't even have an NFL team for over a decade! No hoops. No NHL. This was a transformative moment for me. It's odd to be so invested in something over which I have absolutely no control. But, f'real, that's the essence of being a fan.

Oct 6, 2021

Another song for and about my wife. It's pretty catchy I think. These songs have a carefree spirit that is unusual for one of my records.

Sep 29, 2021

Kass and I went to New Orleans together when we were dating. It was achingly romantic and magical. We stayed at The Frenchman right on the southeast tip of The French Quarter. We befriended a bartender at a place called The Abbey on Decatur Street who had recovered from a stroke brought on by alcoholism. We called him "Strokey." That feels like a very New Orleansy thing. I had proposed to her soon enough after this. The band passed on this song for EUTAW STREET too! Harrumph. So this is "micro" in the parlance of the album SOCIETY FRINGE PLAYER.

Sep 22, 2021

Frustrated with Circle 9 and in response to Steve Earle's COPPERHEAD ROAD I wrote SOCIETY FRINGE PLAYER. This is an answer song to "Johnny Come Lately." Yo dig I fuck up the geography pretty badly. I only have a rudimentary understanding of America's involvement in World War II. Mainly it's from Hollywood. It's very very unlikely that Freddie fought at Guadalcanal AND Normandy Beach. I'll worry about the narrative holes never. This shit's done been digitized! The main story, though, is about young men shipped off to war barely having ever even touched a woman. It's the Samwise Gamgee story set in the 1940s. I don't want the gender roles to be rigid, however. It's more about a soldier lucky enough to return home and find love. Musically, as well as Steve Earle, it's a Pogues rip off natch.

Sep 15, 2021

I recorded a whole record while Circle 9 recorded EUTAW STREET because I was so frustrated. Eventually I talked them into doing operas. Tell you what. We passed over this song for EUTAW STREET and it pissed me off. So, being as I'm a Steve Earle acolyte, I figured it out on mandolin and did my own version of his masterpiece COPPERHEAD ROAD. First half macro second half micro. I named the album SOCIETY FRINGE PLAYER. Nowadays this is in the live version of TRAVELOGUE AMERICA PART TWO. It opens it up after intermission which for me means Twizzlers and Coke from the concession stand. These are some of the finest lyrics I've ever written.

Sep 8, 2021

Here I'm name dropping my wife in a song title AGAIN! ;-) This is Hamer supplementing the mighty 9 on trumpet and Marge from Duku singing the back ups. This also has stayed in the live set forever. It's as true a declaration of love as I've ever gotten. Unapologetic love songs are tough. I don't know how the Beatles did it without ever sounding like a bunch of drips. I reflexively want to sabotage lovely little odes with profanity. I still am pretty much a 14 year old boy at heart. Also, the vocal/guitar line is inspired by "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" by the Beatles off of Abbey Road. It's a C-major so I expect to be weeping at some point.

Sep 1, 2021

I love my country so much I oft get emotional when thinking about the undoubtedly excellent shit that we have established. We're also Robespierre levels of dangerous bonkers. Our two main freedoms collided together with the Branch Dividians, the freedoms to arm and worship. In this nation they go in that order.  Distrust of governmental forces is engrained in certain strains of Americana. Of course it is. This is a nation built on people fleeing other nations. I remember reading an in depth article about Koresh in either Spin or Rolling Stone (pretty much indistinguishable to a hipster Gen Xer) and it boiled down to him being an American version of Mike Meyer's Wayne Campbell and WAYNES WORLD. At least that's what I took from it. Party on! 

Aug 25, 2021

I was trying to write a version of Crazy Horse's "Cortez the Killer" for Circle 9. I STILL want to work up a live version of this with Bri and Ochster. I have an acoustic arrangement too. I want it to be SFP's "out of the blue and into the black." The fellas never wanted to play this one. We were doing mostly 45 minute sets around this time so we would only have 1 longish song. Bidnizz, jack! This is my favorite Circle 9 performance. Also, I didn't realize it at the time but Joe Gallagher introduced the SFPeeniverse with "Moai," "Gateway Of the Sun," and "Pyramids Of the Moon." I'm forever in his debt! You can hear the "Moai" riff during the calm down part. Obviously the SFPeeniverse begins with Circle 9's THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES.

Aug 18, 2021

I'm old enough to appreciate westerns. Yo dig. I was struck by something that conservative commentator David Brooks said during the upheaval of 2020. While discussing the protests sparked by the execution of George Floyd on PBS he said "(F)or many decades, the pioneer experience was the defining American experience. And then the immigrant experience was the defining American experience. 
Now the struggle for racial justice is the defining American experience." He's absolutely right. This here song is a romanticisation of the initial American Experience at the tale end of the European Conquest of the Americas. As a nation we need to talk about this shit. Millions died. Also this is an obvious nod to the "pioneer" of Outlaw Country, the legend known as Hank III.

Aug 11, 2021

Being a rock and roll kid I didn't realize until much later that you could write songs based in historical times. Fantasy is well represented but actual history is almost nonexistent. Being a big Steve Earle fan and having been introduced to the Pogues by the woman I would eventually marry it was like a whole new world of possibility exploded upon my essential existence as a songwriter. The further back I went the more and more it felt absolutely right to base songs in a time period that decidedly ain't America from the 1950s on. It's such a miniscule sample size! This is my first stab at writing about a different century. They're all just cowboy songs anyway.

Aug 4, 2021

This song was originally called "Life's a Beach" and I wrote it in 1987 whilst living at Ocean City, MD for the summer. I remember people crying when I would play it. I just RECENTLY realized that these piano middle C power ballads are very effective in bringing forth emotion. I repurposed it for THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES. I used my wife's name. This is absolutely inspired by Ken Burns The Civil War which I watched over and over again. Growing up in Maryland we're there. 

Jul 28, 2021

This is inspired by Clint Eastwood's THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" by the Band. In today's polarized world it's a challenge to attempt to see each others' perspectives. Philosophically it's eminently frustrating. Here's a different approach. I used to be a construction worker. Every cliche is pretty much rooted in reality. Everybody is racist or homophobic until they're working with a person of another race or sexual proclivity. Once it's proven that a worker works they transcend the stereotype. It always bugged me that this enlightenment stayed on the job site. At least that's how things appeared. 

Jul 21, 2021

The US is completely insane. The threat of violence is always present. That's what the Axis didn't understand during World War II. We are ahead of the curve always in terms of a willingness to inflict harm on other human beings. I also find the image of Europe looking on in concerned fascination while we butchered each other with iron clad war ships amusing. One day we'll come to terms with our vicious soul but I ain't holding my breath.

Jul 14, 2021

Here's the big shift from bar band to rock opera band. We opened with this for years, especially in showcase environments. I loved opening with it because there's awesome head bang breaks where I made my hair look crazy.  I shit you not. We were in denial for YEARS about boastfully being willfully ignorant of the way we presented ourselves but that was total horse shit. We absolutely played up the working class apocalyptic drunken mountain men on speed look for years.

Jul 7, 2021

This was one of the first songs I had to go back and change the lyrics because I got the geography fucked up! I was mimicking "Answering Machine" by the Replacements off of LET IT BE. I played this live until Ochster solidified himself as the SFP drummer. I was also trying to tell a sorrowful tale along the lines of another Replacements song, "Little Mascara" off of TIM. The open B minor would hurt my lil fingies when I played this acoustically. 

Jun 30, 2021

This was recorded during the same session as "Agenda." I was very proud of this. Honestly? Joe Gallagher is the only other guitar player I'll play chords behind. I was glad to hear him rock out here. I remember when we released this as a 45 we got feedback that Staten Island's college station played it muchly. This is me realizing that youthful rebellion turns into simply acting like an asshole at some point.

Jun 23, 2021

I wrote this between the Baltimore Colts and the Baltimore Ravens. It's my first, and almost only recorded, rapping. Even so, I write a lot of raps but they come out like singing. Everything always comes out a little differently (or even a lot!) than what is intended. This is the Dennis Barth Circle 9. Joey Joe Joe playing his old GEE-tar with the Egyptian symbols, and Pork on drums. This was the 9's first time in the studio. It was the first thing I recorded that turned up an a CD.

May 24, 2021

05  This is the distinct link between TRAVELOGUE and SPACESHIPS GUNS AND BOOBIES

10  Makes sense.

15  We'll see what happens

20  BOW BOW

25  It's a banjo.

30  Is this a good idea?

35  They think the harmonica's a bagpipe.

40  It's not quite Lynyrd Skynryd.

45  It depends on what your experience is.

50  Everything happens for a reason.

May 17, 2021

05  R-600s ride on them to go to war.

10  Gandalf is in Hurricane Island.

15  Andy's not going to be here for the music festival.

20  Now, understand it.

25  I don't even remember how it...uh.

30  Do do doo doo doo doo.

35  "A Woman's Work," maybe that's her.

40  Rear view mirror?

45  I felt really weird for a week afterwards.

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