Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Living in the Afterlife

Check out Sandy's new single
Listen here.


Living in the Afterlife

[the Unknown Host (intuition) talks to the eternal voices]

Knowing the unknown

I cannot reveal the Unknown Host.
My mind is just a passing ghost.

Living on the long-forbidden path,

feeling the emotion of the aftermath,
intuitions flow and impulse knows
long-forgotten memories—

Deeper layers shed - lower down, lower down.

But I believe in a world beyond.
Part of me is living in the afterlife.

We are prisoners of infinity

where nothing is lost and nothing ever dies.
We must satisfy the justices.
Our own verdicts/virtues we decide.

Let the mind break confines

to experience the new and roam free.
The search for the unknown must go on.

Awakened intuition is a powerful force.

We understand by delving in the depths.
Search the silent night of who we are.
And the inward journey through a
World of Chance can’t be imagined.
The messengers are living in the afterlife.

In the invisible sky real birds fly.

They are on their way to a sweeter destiny.
Now I feel I’m breathing in the afterlife….

My mind is just a passing ghost.

My mind is just a ghost.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Mystery of The Phantom of the Paradise

I have loved Paul Williams and his masterpiece, "The Phantom of the Paradise" since I was a kid growing up in Illinois.  I loved them so much, I created my own version of "The Phantom" in the early '80s called "Acceptance" and assembled a group of musicians and dancers to perform many of the songs from the film.  What I didn't know was that the movie and award-winning music that changed my life forever was only a hit in three places in the world: Paris, Chicago and mostly Winnipeg.

It wasn't until recently that I learned a lot about this phenomenon from a group on Facebook called The Phantom of the Paradise Fanatics, many of whom gather once a year in October for Phantompalooza at the Met in Winnipeg. This year, Paul Williams, himself, performed

Back to my original question: Why Winnipeg?  The PHAN-atics replied:

"I thought because of the Winnipeg fan base the original soundtrack actually reached Gold in Canada. I read that Winnipeg alone accounted for about half of the 500,000 album sales needed to be certified Gold."

"For me, in Toronto, CityTV would show it at least twice, year on late great movies not long after its release. That's what got me hooked. I lived in NJ for a long time. No one had ever heard of it."

"Tell that to the all the people at the sold out show in Hollywood last Sunday. Paul Williams was there too."

"It was because of POTP playing in Paris that the two guys from Daft Punk met over their shared love of the film."

"I think at the time we Winnipegers were the only ones to admit it. It took the rest of you a while to catch up. That said...it's no longer just a Winnipeg thing, it's bigger than that now."

"Indeed. The upcoming fest in Pasadena was sold out in minutes!"

"Winnipeg or Paris are your two best bets with the edge going to Winnipeg."

"But in reality it’s not the whole of Winnipeg either, is it? The population of Winnipeg is listed as around 700,000. How many people attend Phantom fest that are from Winnipeg? And how many all together?"

"It's not! We here in Dallas, Tx (home of the Majestic {Paradise} Theater) loves PotP as well!"'

"Winnipeg is among the few places that understand the genius of Paul Williams."

"A bunch of people, including myself, from Omaha Nebraska are huge fans of the movie and the soundtrack. Williams is from Omaha, and I only learned of that recently. I believe it's not a coincidence that Winnipeg is directly north of Omaha. There's a mysterious latitudinal connection."

"We love the phantom here in Kansas we're only 3 hours from Omaha."

"Upon its release, a trade ad for Phantom gave it healthy receipts for its Los Angeles run. It got pulled and the publicity retooled because it wasn't earning from a market they wanted it to get - actual adults and not just kids. This couldn't help but hurt its total take in its release period (74-75), and history calls it a financial failure when it was really a studio approach failure. Like everyone else here I was a teenager on its release and at the risk of offending people I think the studio reacted as if we were bubblegum rock fans and unable to financially support it, so they showed a lack of faith in their own product. Time has vindicated us of course."

" It was pulled because those movie houses that had booked it came to the end of the run that they had signed the initial agreement for (starting November 1, 1974) and they were bound by contract to begin running the next film 20th Century Fox was releasing (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN released on Dec 15th, 1974). 
Publicity for Phantom was only retooled because it had received a nomination for Best Soundtrack in The Academy Awards, which is not unusual at all when nominees are announced. During this renewed release, it opened in a little more than twice the amount of theaters as it did in it's prestige "premiere" run, which in itself is witness that the film was already gaining an audience."

"If you were in Winnipeg, maybe you only thought it was happening in Winnipeg, but it was happening all over. I recall a huge convention of several thousand fans giving a screening of the film a standing ovation at Equicon 1975 / Filmcon 3 - A Science Fiction & Fantasy Film Convention in California - May 24-26, 1975."

"The two places Phantom of the Paradise was a hit was Paris and Winnipeg. Everywhere else in Canada the movie flopped and it lasted a week in the theatres, but it lasted 50 weeks in the theatres in Winnipeg. Winnipegers loved they movie when the rest of the world hated it. Now that the movie is a cult classic, people are catching up to what Winnipeg knew all along, Phantom of the Paradise is the greatest movie ever!!"

For more info, go to: https://www.swanarchives.org/

The Many Lives of Eric Burdon

Everyone remembers The Animals and The House of the Rising Sun... but I wonder how many people - especially musicians' musicians - have listened to the terrific American funk group from California, known for many great hits like "Low Rider" and "The World is a Ghetto."  Eric Burdon was the lead singer of the group known as Eric Burdon and War from 1969 through the mid-to-late '70s.

They had a gifted flutist/saxophonist named Charles Miller who was, unfortunately murdered in 1980 in LA during a botched street robbery.  And there was the infamous Lee Oskar, a Danish harmonica player whose contributions to rock-funk fusion are immeasurable.

There are fabulous jam sessions on YouTube that have transported me back to my roots in rock & roll and funk:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Steel in My Soul

My latest recording...  "Steel in My Soul" is my ode to the struggle between my Christ and Hitler.  John Lennon once said, "We're all Christ and we're all Hitler; we want Christ to win."  The God in me fights the devil.  Written 24 years ago, having the chance to record it properly with great musicians and my wonderful producer is such a privilege.  Music is the greatest expression of my soul and I wrote back then that "Passion and truth is all we need... God is the greatest dramatist... that I resist the better angel and I am a bitter stranger... that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  And then it ends with Paul Williams's great line from "Phantom of the Paradise," which says it all.

Steel in My Soul

There is laughter in the air; there’s a voice on the wing.
God’s the greatest dramatist in everything–
Resist the better angel, ’cause it’s a bitter stranger.
What doesn’t kill you keeps you out of danger.

Saints alive! Saints alive!
In the hidden heart.

I don’t know where I come from,
Don’t know where I’ve been.
But I’ve got steel in my soul.
Ain’t no luck in the air….
I know all that I need is passion and truth.
Give me back my youth
and I’ll give it to you.

Running like mad in the waking dream,
(I) can’t get back to the living connection.
I can’t find shelter for my own protection.

I’ve got steel in my soul, steel in my soul, steel in my soul –Ain’t stealin’ my soul.

Won’t make the Faustian bargain, gotta retract the deal.
Mephistopheles will have to find another soul to steal.

And a mysterious comfort puts its arms around you
and holds you close and tells you,
“It’s alright. It’s alright.”
“Sleep tonight. Sleep tonight.”

[Alternate ending: tribute to Paul Williams/”Phantom of the Paradise”:
"All the devils that disturbed me and the angels that defeated them somehow...
come together in me now..."]

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Cape Cod Adventure

From Boston to Hyannis to Orleans and back... my trip to Cape Cod was colorful and inspiring - from Chatham to Wellfleet to Brewster to Provincetown... the galleries, the flowers, the Hopper-inspired cottages, the great art community...and that wonderful book store.  Also stopped off in Boston for the wonderful Matisse show: Matisse in the Studio.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Making Fun of Pain

 Making Fun of Pain
Here's my new song that communicates the pain of our world today... with a positive message in the end from the Robots...  dedicated to Paul Williams and the Robots of Daft Punk.
Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/sandyfrazier/making-fun-of-pain

Making Fun of Pain

Breathe until you drop dead.
Break the spell that’s in your head.
You’ll see the sparks will fly away
until the Earth is round.
Again, you’ll find the black meets white.

Then you’ll stop making fun of pain.
You’ll find the truth can help you on the way.
The world is so fragile.
Stop causing it pain!

Believe the time has come at last
to break the patterns of the past.
You’ll find the God within heals
and takes the pain away.
Now you can go on to the next life...

    Robots Dance
    Robots Sing
    Robots Rule!

Consciousness will reveal
that we cannot truly feel
the way the Earth can move us to the stars
a-way to find the planet Mars.----

    Robots Dance
    Robots Sing
    Robots Rule
    Robots Love
    Robots Drive
    Robots... Alive!
    Robots DIE!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Paul Williams & Daft Punk

I posted this blog about one of my greatest influences in music back in 2013.  Paul Williams has gone on to do so many incredible things in his life over the years... and still going strong in his 70s.  

I really love his collaboration with Daft Punk on a gorgeous piece of music: "Touch." 

Here is Paul talking about his collaboration and his life and work with addictions.

He not only inspired music in me, but my first live Rock Opera back in the '80s, "Acceptance," which was based on "Phantom of the Paradise."  

Watch "Daft Punk Unchained" - a great documentary on the group and their innovative techniques and style.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Blah Blah Land

What has happened to American culture?  It's a sad, sad situation, if you ask me.

Here is a big example of Hollywood trying to shove its mediocrity down our throats.  In spite of critics falling over themselves going crazy over "La La Land," I thought it was terrible... neither lead could sing OR dance, the songs were blah... there were some good scenes... but mostly this film has been ridiculously overrated.  I LONGED for Fred & Ginger... Is this what we've come to?

The Oscars have fallen by way of The Grammy's with its embarrassing nominations. “La La Land” got more nominations than “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “The Godfather,” “Schindler’s List,” “Return of the King,” “Ben-Hur”. . . I could go on for quite a while because “La La Land” got more nominations than any film ever made, except for "Titanic" and "All About Eve??"

This is indicative of the downfall of American culture. Listen to Paul Joseph Watson - I agree with him - American culture has fallen into a pit of sludge.  It's up to Americans to stop supporting these people who call themselves "artists."

The only show on television I've seen lately that is worth watching is The Young Pope - a very creative, controversial, provocative take on Vatican City and the first American pope.  Jude Law is marvelous in this role and each episode is a surprise.  I like the soundtrack, too - it's fun and entertaining, unique and colourful, especially the opening theme song, taken from Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Love of Digital Photography

My love of digital photography essentially started with a photograph I took at Coney Island of the original Nathan's (I also did a painting of the picture).  That was back in the early 2000’s.  I’ve expanded my love of digital photography greatly over the past almost 20 years... and have gone through a lot of cameras.  I love taking pictures of cityscapes, cafes, flowers, colourful scenes and whimsical subjects.  I’ve posted close to 7,300 pictures on Flickr and use my art and photography to express myself in music. Here are some of my albums:
Skies of Drama