Category Archives: Dresden Dolls

Sad Times July 23rd 2014

It has not been a very happy year so far and it shows no sign of getting better any time soon. I know I’ve been off the radar for two years now and I can’t seem to get back on the horse. I am putting a link that will tell the tale for me in the hopes of getting some help. Here it is http://www.gofundme.com/bm047c
I never thought it come to this but desperate times call for desperate measures. Thanks for reading, and to any who used my work for term papers and such. I hope you got good grades.

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Always In The Small Hours-Nov 14Th 2011

I open my eyes to the sound of someone banging on the wall downstairs, I look at the clock as I stagger to my feet and make my way across my bedroom. There are only a few things that this could mean at 2:45 AM, either my mom or dad is sick, hurt, or dead. I’m not being a ghoul really but when you live with sickly aging parents that’s what it usually means. So you can imagine my surprise to open the door and look downstairs to see my mom fully dressed with jacket on and dad visible outside the front door. “Your brother is on the way to the hospital, he’s coughing up blood” mom says kind of matter of fact, like she’s just told me something commonplace. “We were gonna let you sleep, but we didn’t want you to wake up to an empty house and be shocked. So were going in a few minutes.” mom says as she looks up at me and out to the street. I say “Dad’s got night blindness and if anyone’s going to drive to the hospital at three am it’s gonna be me!”  and turn to get dressed with rubbery legs and jangled nerves. I have been asleep maybe two and a half hours and I am still wondering what’s going on with my brother, he has always got a sinus problem and a smokers hack, but I didn’t realize he was actually sick.  The small bathroom garbage can full of bloody tissues tells the tale, it looks like something out of a horror movie.

In the cold chill of the fall night we drive to the ER and I drop them off.  By the time I park the car and walk into the waiting area I find my family including my brother sitting in an mostly empty room while the Turner classic movies channel features ‘Jason and the Argonauts!’ My brother, looking dismal, apologizes for the fuss and fills me in on what’s happened since I went to bed. He has had uncontrollable coughing fits spewing up blood and mucus which isn’t letting up. He informs me that he has been sick with a cough and cold for weeks but with him sequestered in his room as he attends online college and me at work all day, I’m afraid I didn’t notice he was sick. They finally call his name and I sit down for a long night, armed with an interesting book called “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis, an unusual read for me about the investment industry. The author was on NPR (National Public Radio) the previous Saturday promoting his new book “Boomerang” and sparked my interest. The ER waiting rooms refreshment area features a broken free coffee maker, soda machine and snack machine. So wearily at my mom’s request I go on a walkabout looking for coffee but finding none I sit down to read and watch TV.

I sit with my mom while dad wanders around unable to sit still. We speculate about our worse fears for my brother’s health. It’s about 4:00 am now and they are taking him for a chest x-ray when I look up and see through the glass of the children’s play area another TV with a breaking news story. I get up to see what’s going on now, and am not surprised to see that the police in New York City have raided Zucotti Park and driven the Occupy Wall Street protesters out, to clean up the park ostensibly. The operation was conducted by police in riot gear and SWAT teams with precise military maneuvers. The action began at 1:00 am and these kinds of operations are always done  in the small hours, it’s the best time to attack your enemy. The protesters didn’t stand a chance, and even the efforts of reinforcements coming to aid the protesters never made it to the park, they were driven back. This is no surprise to me as I predicted this would happen weeks ago; if only to myself. But what shocked me was the lack of violence, many protestors went peacefully and the few who didn’t were not beaten up too bad. That is at least not from what we witnessed on TV, the next day the mayor held a press conference stating that things went well-better than expected! Also the protestors would be allowed to come back to the park, but not with sleeping bags or tents this time.

The Occupy Wall Street movement begun on Sept 17th in New York’s financial district, inspired by the Egyptian Tahir Square uprisings in June and the Spanish “Acampadas”. It is at its core vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy. The anti-consumerist/pro-environment magazine” Adbusters” published in Canada is credited with calling for the peaceful protest movement as a means to bring about social change for the 99 percent of people making under $100,000 a year. While the 1 percent who make upwards of $100,000 a year enjoy an extravagant lifestyle and pay way less than they should in taxes, the 99 percent are trimming down to only the essentials and yet are still being asked to bear the burden for the good of the country. If you look at a map of the cities where protesters have gathered, you can see that the concentration of the movement is in the northeast, but it reaches all the way to the west coast and a sprinkling of the mid-Atlantic states. The mid-section of the country is where you see the least amount of protest, in some states none at all.

The OWS is a leaderless movement and seems to have no clear set path for establishing their agenda. A few weeks ago I watched an interview with one of the organizers on TV and was amazed at what I saw. He was a young guy in his maybe late twenty’s, he was clearly a corporate hipster type, the kind that wears a suit and is well versed in office protocol but you could easily find him at a Dresden Dolls concert on the weekend. He was telling the interviewer that “We are sending a clear message to Wall Street and to Washington that we want change, we are going to be here, we are not going anywhere until there is real change in this country” He talked in that post valley girl/guy hipster twang with that tinge of the feminine that makes people think your either gay or a snob. The powers that be have got be looking at this and laughing at him. This is not any threat to the 1 percent, and guess what else. The one percentile includes all of our leaders and their families and friends and the leaders of big business right down to the owner of the company you work for who has more money in the bank than you will make in your entire life. They don’t care about you or anyone else in the 99 percentile. My brother came out of his x-ray and waited for the results in the ER and we chatted with him until the doctor came and told my brother that he had a nosebleed. I for one was not convinced since the blood wasn’t coming from his nose, but he gave my brother a set of instructions and a bottle of Afrin nasal spray and said see ya later. So at 5:15 am we arrived home and since I usually get up a six o”clock, I decided it was useless to try to sleep and got dressed for work and made my lunch.

When I came home after a very busy grueling day I found my mom made a meatloaf, so I jumped in to help sous chef the veg and mash and set the table. I asked about my brother who had more coughing fits and while we were  just about to sit down to eat, my brother came in again with a garbage can full of bloody tissues and said “I guess we better go back to the hospital.” I got out of my sweats and into jeans and a shirt and took my brother to the hospital alone this time, my parents stayed home and ate the nice dinner she prepared. This time it was more of the same, the coffee machine was still broken and because it was after seven o’clock the cafeterias were both closed so we sat and sat and sat. My brother wasn’t allowed to eat until he had a CAT scan of the chest to see what was going on. So we both starved miserably and I read and watched some TV while he was examined and taken away for his scan. I bought a bag of hard pretzels out of a vending machine and took a small orange juice from a fridge and that was dinner.  He came back and after an eternity was told that he had a touch on Pneumonia in his upper left lung, so they hung a bag of anti-biotic solution given intravenously and got him a lovely dinner of crackers, applesauce, lime jello, and graham crackers with nothing to drink. That took four requests to be accomplished but he finally got some from the staff who seemed eager to get out and go home. While we waited for the meds to finish we watched re-runs of Seinfeld and kept mom, dad and friends  posted on developments. I excused myself to go to the bathroom and when I came back I realized that we had been alone in that area for quite a while, the meds were now done and we had been forgotten. I joked with my brother that he should take out the I.V. and we should skip this place. He chuckled and I said “No really, take out that thing then put a piece of gauze and tape and put on your jacket, I’ll hit the button on the elevator and out we go down to the basement, then up the stairs by the cafeteria into the front lobby and out the door!” He laughed and said he still needed his script for the Z-pac pills he has to take for the next 10 days but I was only kidding anyway, I just wanted to cheer him up after what amounts to his first brush with a serious illness.

We got home at about 12:30 and I had a few crackers and milk and went to bed exhausted but happy that it wasn’t worse than it could have been. Still in the morning I was shot and considered staying home but needing the money I pushed myself to dig deep and get going to work. I stopped for coffee at the supermarket where I usually go and greeted my friends getting their morning cup before work. This machine makes the best decaf ever and I smiled into my cup as I tasted my first gulp. Then continuing my ritual I walked over to the newspapers and looked at each front cover to get an idea of what’s happening today. The front page of Newsday made me laugh out loud. The picture shows a NYC policemen in profile and behind him a girl in her twenties is wearing only stockings and garter belt, sun glasses and a big smile! The caption read that the police have been turning a blind eye to incidents like this at Zucotti Park where protesters are stepping up the civil disobedience! That’s right they did turn a blind eye. Because the picture was taken the day before the police cleared the park, they allowed the incident to go without arrest to lull the protesters into thinking they could get away with anything. The police knew what would happen less than 24 hours later and besides… she wasn’t half bad-looking. Alls well that ends well. My brother is making good progress and should be fine. He threw his pouch of tobacco out on the way to the car when we left the hospital…it made all the effort and lack of  sleep worthwhile, I just hope he doesn’t have a relapse…I mean on smoking.

Sleepily

Glen

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Dresden Dolls Concert-Halloween 2010 Part 2

Happy Caberet!

I am back at the end of the line, standing outside Brother Jimmy’s Bar-B-Que, a fantastic joint for ribs, pulled pork, deep-fried pickles and drinking. I’ve been to the other location before, which is uptown a ways. This is a college joint with kids drinking copious amounts of liquor. There is a fantastic assortment of people in costume here, bloody undead nurses, vampires, dead beauty queens, and others who defy classification, still more who dress for a DD concert in special ways no matter if it’s Halloween or not! While the normal people go in and out of the apartment building above and people come and go to eat we wait in line and it’s a slow business. Two couples come out of the bar and stand in the street. They are trying to decide what to do next and one girl bends down to apparently fix her boyfriends zipper which is stuck. But the angle that she is maintaining with a jacket draped over her left hand, while she manipulates the zipper with her right hand, keeping her nose inches from his “business” well…it looks like she’s doing something else. Their friend notices the crowd who are all watching with amused looks on their faces and mentions this to the girl who looks up and erupts into embarrassed laughter as we all do and I start clapping to add to the moment! Only in New York!
It’s starting to get cold now and I’m wishing for a loo again, I’m just like a girl now when it comes to that. Finally we go in and I remember the place from the Killing Joke show in 2008. I go upstairs to see two girls dancing with lit up hoolah hoops and doing tricks, there was also some strip tease involved because one girls top and bra are laying on the floor leaving her sporting black tape on her nipples! The hoops twirl continuously as they move, topless girl is actually able to go down on the floor on her back while keeping the hoop moving with one leg!
I meet a fellow writer from Connecticut and we talk for a few minutes before The Legendary Pink Dots take the stage. A three-piece band of older guys who lay down a mix of electronic guitar based rock. Kind of like Kraftwerk meets Killing Joke if you ask me but not as metal, my co-writer suggests they paint with music because the music changes many times during each song. They have been around for years and we find out later from Amanda herself that The Legendary Pink Dots actually brought the Dresden Dolls out as an opening band ten years ago on the Dolls first tour ever. I scan the crowd around me and wonder what all these people do for a living and how many of them dress punk all the time. There is open cameras and filming tonight, and they are counting on fans to help with submissions, editing, everything. The show will be available free at a later date for downloading.

Amanda on the speaker towers

When the Dolls take the stage the crowd goes wild, they look great and beam at the audience before they sit down to play. They start with “Sex Changes” a triple entendre song about sex change operations, unwanted pregnancy, and losing ones virginity, this is typical Amanda Palmer writing. She is very intelligent and doesn’t bandy small words about. They love the crowd and the crowd love’s them back. Many girls shout “I LOVE YOU AMANDA!” and guys shout “I LOVE YOU BRIAN!” and Amanda reply’s “WE F**KIN LOVE YOU GUYS!” The bond between Brian and Amanda is very apparent as they fool around on stage, try to trip each other up musically at the start of songs and kid with the audience. They play many of my favorites like “The Kill” and “Backstabber” but the best is “Ultima Esparanza” (on a sidenote I am writing a play based on this song which I will contact Amanda about when it is done to see what she thinks) a song based on a true story.

Brian Viglione-Irving Plaza 2010

The great thing about the Dolls music is the accessibility of the band to their fans. Amanda has pulled at least one 17-year-old musician of the street and brought him home to her studio and helped him cut his first EP all with money donated by fans of the Dolls. The show was fantastic and they played a four song encore that included “Half Jack” and “War Pigs” and no one was disapponited at all.

I am very tired when the show ends and I hit the street, I would love to find a late night snack joint and take a cab to my Greenwich Village apartment-but that’s the dream. The reality is that I must walk back the way I came and go home to the island and get home very late. I am really glad I had an hours sleep before leaving the house earlier. The trek back to Penn Station is quick and along the way I pass a group of drunks dressed as prison inmates black and white stripe suits being herded by Super Mario Bros. They sing and chant and yodel various things as they go heading downtown for points unknown. I find myself soon down in Penn Station proper and this is where all the freaks and psycho’s have gathered. I mean you got everything here, men in dresses, women with mustache’s, living magazine covers, midget fire hydrants, and some that defy description! They are all a little drunk and many are behaving badly, but the most popular group is the Star Wars guys. They are older guys one dressed as a stormtrooper, four Luke Skywalkers’ (2 Empire and 2 Snowspeeder costume), a Princess Leia in white gown with the buns hair style, and a short Chewbacca. These guys are having their fifteen minutes of fame, everyone wants a picture with these guys, especially the girls. Guys are yelling out “Chewbacca Rules!” then initiate the familiar howling guttural language of the Wookie.
When the track is finally announced for Hicksville and points east, there is a rush to get on the train and one girl remarks that she never saw so many people so happy to get on a train. I notice that all the freaks get on this train, they’re all from the island, this should not have surprised me at all.
We change at Jamaica and the Star Wars boys and a large contingent of lunatics wait for the train with me, a double-decker comes and we pile in and I can hear the crowd from Penn singing Lady Gaga songs and shouting, laughing, and generally acting like kids. I’m a little envious of them, part of me wants to be down there but I would just be a middle-aged guy standing out like a sore thumb, with no costume on me and no booze in me. If I ever go to a concert on Halloween night again, It’ll be in costume for sure, it’s just more fun and you make friends real easy.
I arrive home very late, take two pain-killers and hope my back stops throbbing so I can get some sleep. I lay in bed with the ringing of the amplifiers in my ears and the music in my head. When I wake up the music is still in my head. I am very lucky sometimes, I got to see the show I never thought I’d see and I wake up pain-free, I actually feel pretty good! One show down, two to go.
Stay Tuned
Glen
MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

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