Music Review, Kyuss; Blues for Queens and of the Red Stone Age Sun; Part 1 of 3

Ampersand DailyMusic

I will provide the track name, number, length, and a link to the lyrics for each song followed by my review of each song. My favorite site for looking up song lyrics is http://www.songmeanings.net/ so if possible I will use their site almost exclusively. Also, I recommend using Spotify to listen to these songs as you read through the review. https://www.spotify.com/us/for-music/ If you do not want to use Spotify visit YouTube and look for the songs on there. http://www.youtube.com/

I realize my interpretations are not going to match that of the creators or of every body out there, hell maybe not anyone out there. But that’s not what this is all about. I am doing this because I love art and inspiration and blogging. Not to insult anyone or ruin anybody’s day out there so please, if you feel I have insulted you in any way through my interpretations please let me know as kindly as you can conceive how I might change the way I’m looking at a song or film or even just a piece of art work. This is about being open and communicating well with others in a positive manner. Not personal agenda’s.

Lastly, I find that often lyrics listed in the albums inserts and album art are sometimes different from what is actually presented on the song itself. I strongly recommend reviewing the lyrics on Song Meanings and attempting to edit where necessary. This is the first part of a two page review. The reason I have chosen to divide it into two articles is because there is a controversial story to be shared about this band, it’s members, and it’s “intellectual property.” My wordpress page is for both entertainment and also to talk about more serious dilemma’s in the world that I feel are important to talk about. This whole scenario I am going to attempt to tell fits perfectly into the mission of this wordpress and consider this to be one of my more passionate pieces to date. I am not here to offend anyone, but if my opinions do offend you, please share the reasons, I am not closed minded to criticism in any way, so please do share your thoughts below. This albums holds a special place in my heart, along with most of Kyuss’ library. They are not a perfect band, they are not that uber success story that everyone loves to hear about. In fact, just lately, former members sued each other and fought legally for rights to the bands name and music. It is a tragedy in Rock and Roll that breaks my heart. I had the pleasure of seeing the second effort of this bands wonderful premise, straight forward, yet extremely unique blend of stoner rock and what I always felt was a strong mixture of 90’s and 50’s rock. Under the name and guise of the title Kyuss Lives! comprised of three of the four original members and two replacement members, the band toured Europe and the United States playing old Kyuss tracks for fans across the world. This was brought to a halt once they tried to gain the rights to the name “Kyuss” and two former band mates brought a civil suit against Kyuss Lives for copyright infringement.  This band eventually spawned to more successful project of the lead guitarist, Josh Homme, named Queens of the Stone Age, of whom I consider myself a fan of as well. However, the lawsuit has me angry with Mr. Homme at the moment and I do not feel obliged to buy the latest release, even though I want to. For this to happen to two of my favorite bands breaks my heart. Let’s get names out of the way, this is going to be a long, perhaps segmented music review because of my love for this kind of music, and also because of the important legal matters involved. It is perhaps not a unique situation all together, but it does have a bit of notoriety behind it so I feel obliged, being a big fan, to say my two cents here on my WordPress blog. Here is a list of both original cast of musicians Kyuss and of Kyuss Lives! so we can understand who, what, when and where what a little bit better. Each name will lead you to a wikipedia page about each musician.  Kyuss  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyuss) 1987-1995

Kyuss Lives! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyuss_Lives!)

2010-Current
I saw Kyuss Lives! in Chicago at The Vic on December 2nd 2011. In March of 2012, Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit naming his former band mates as the defendants. The lawsuit was filed in federal court under the charge of “trademark infringement and consumer fraud by Kyuss Lives!”  
This is what Josh Homme had to say in a press release. 

“It sucks. To think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to continue Kyuss Lives! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name Kyuss. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid. It’s a sad day for us and for John – but most of all for the fans. What a needless mess.”– Josh Homme

 

Scott Reeder made this post on his facebook page to comment on the situation as well. “Maaaaaaan, I’ve been called every foul name in the book, and all I did was make a choice to stand up to defend and retain small rights that I should be able to keep sacred and unhindered for the rest of my life and beyond. I didn’t have much of a choice: lose all of the rights in two weeks, or keep them forever. I didn’t choose to be in this situation at all — I was forced to react very quickly with a looming deadline, and it’s been rough. I saw people bitterly divided over this stupid stuff… crazy. But the overwhelming support from friends and family was very much appreciated and needed. Thank you.” -Scott Reeder

Kyuss from Dungeons and Dragons game.

Kyuss; D&D Character

http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Kyuss

Disciple_of_Kyuss

Disciple of Kyuss; D&D Character.

http://ddadventuresystem.wikia.com/wiki/File:Disciple_of_Kyuss.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyuss_(Greyhawk)

The above pictures and links are there to provide the fact that it was not Josh Homme who invented the name Kyuss, not even a little bit. So I have to ask myself, why didn’t the “true owners” of this character, name, and likeness not come forward when Kyuss was first formed to begin with? All I have to go on is a theory, but I imagine that certain people view sharing ideas and information differently than others. I have heard a lot of fans say that just because Josh Homme and Scott Reeder didn’t have to sue, doesn’t mean they should just let the members of Kyuss Lives walk all over them. That said, it still remains they could have chosen to let this go in favor of a friendship, for the fans sake, and also for the survival of a band that is beloved by many people. Allowing something you worked really hard on to continue to live on with your former band mates and friends to me would seem to please most people I know, especially considering the level of success Josh has gained for himself with Queens of the Stoneage. It’s easy to take the route where just because it’s legal, means he could and should have sued, but I honestly believe everything would have been much better if Josh Homme would have let this go and let his former work continue to live on. He should consider the fact that Wizards of the Coast nor Hasbro gave him any legal trouble when Kyuss first hit the scene. He and his band mates were able to create music that inspired a whole bunch of people based on a characters name that was lifted from a campaign in the table top game of Dungeons and Dragons. To me, this is hypocritical of him to sue.

Brandt Bjork had this to say in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“In the summer of 1987, I started a band with my best friend, Chris Cockrell. This band would ultimately become Kyuss. Kyuss was a name I found in a Dungeons and Dragons book called Fiend Folio. Kyuss is a big part of my life as a musician, and when someone asks me formal questions about Kyuss, or wants to discuss the band casually, I can’t help having a point of view that is naturally inherited by someone who is the original founding member.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kyuss-lives-respond-to-josh-homme-scott-reeders-lawsuit-20120521#ixzz2XyikRlGM 

Before moving on I’d just like to say that I admire all of these musicians for their extremely creative and talented attributes. Their music, even their side projects, have inspired me to learn more about music in general and have even helped me get through tough situations by providing me with amazing music to inspire the best in me to come out and shine, like all good music should do. I realize my opinions don’t really hold sway over the situation, but I think it’s important to share our opinions openly so despite having the unpopular opinion here, I side with Kyuss Lives! in this situation. Mostly due to the fact that they at one time were all friends and if I were in Josh Homme’s shoes I would be happy to let my old band mates and friends use the name Kyuss and even claim it as their own. Simply because they were there from the beginning too, they helped create the project and made it into the band all the fans still love today. I would have been happy to know that something I was heavily involved with was going to see new light and perhaps have a second chance to take off. I realize there are monetary concerns here, but sometimes money shouldn’t be what’s important. Again, this is just my opinion on how I believe I might have handled the situation. Considering both Josh and Scott both enjoy very much alive music careers, especially Josh with Queens of the Stoneage being as popular as they are. This should have been a situation where he could sit back and enjoy the fact that his creativity has allowed his friends to enjoy the benefits of working with him on something that many fans still hold on to. 
Obviously I have a biased opinion on this because I really just love Kyuss, the band, and am sad that the project simply cannot continue because of money. I’m not sure how I would react if I were Josh Homme in this situation, perhaps the same way, perhaps not. I understand that Brandt Bjork and John Garcia attempted to claim ownership of the name “Kyuss” as well, and I think that’s just as wrong as Josh suing them for it, but at least Brandt acknowledges where the name actually comes from in his interview with Rolling Stone. Josh to me, along with Scott Reeder, seem to have done this simply because they could. It’s not as if John Garcia and Brandt Bjork weren’t there from the very beginning or anything like, this isn’t a perfect stranger coming along and stealing material right out from under Josh and Scott. It’s as if I’m supposed to forget that John and Brandt had EVERYTHING to do with Kyuss as a band becoming a reality. Josh and Scott definitely played their part, Josh more so than perhaps anyone else which is why I say, if I were him, I would have been more than happy to let Brandt and John continue to play old Kyuss songs under the name Kyuss and generating a buzz for the band as they continue on to make new albums. I know the objection to my argument is obviously that Brandt and John filed for ownership over the name, but like I said
I realize by now this is old news, but it presents me an opportunity to express a concern I have about intellectual property while also reviewing one of the best rock albums from the 90’s that I feel not enough people have heard. When listening to this album, please ask yourself, if you think it is of high quality. Should anyone own an idea? More specifically, should anyone, myself included, be allowed to force others to pay them for using an idea that either resembles their or is a direct copy of their idea? I think force in any situation is bad and that if you have to use it, your ideas are wrong to begin with. But that is just my humble opinion and you did not come here to read a bunch of band drama, or maybe you did, nevertheless this part of the article has run it’s course and I feel it is time to start the actual album review. Which you will find in Part 2 as soon as it’s finished. 

We are not done here!

Devil’s Advocate:

I am writing this into this article because after some serious thinking, there is another angle to be considered here. I have a strong emotional connection to Kyuss which could blind me from anything outside of allowing the project to continue unobstructed. That is why I have added this section to the article, to provide a train of thought that contrast what I personally want and gives Josh Homme and Scott Reeder my benefit of doubt. They claim that John and Brandt tried to file for ownership over the name Kyuss. If that is the case I have to send some negativity towards John and Brandt because of how I feel about intellectual property. Again, why didn’t the originators of the name Kyuss, at Wizards of the Coast ever sue anyone when Kyuss the band gained their popularity in the early and mid-90’s? This goes back into what I said previously that perhaps some people in this world view things differently, what a surprise right?

Please come back for part 2 if you are interested in hearing an alternative view point that perhaps contrast what I’ve said here. 
Thank you for reading! 
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Pinnaclism Part 3: Humanism & Transhumanism Summary

Image

 

This post is to summarize my last two post on the subject. I wanted to focus on the positive aspects of both concepts, but also emphasize some of the clashes between the two ideologies. I honestly believe these differences will be settled peacefully and to the benefit of all. While this may sound way outside the box for many, I believe there are enough people out there who can see the technological singularity happening at some point, perhaps in my life time even. So even if you are not convinced of this now, I still feel like these ideas can benefit you because of the core principles that Pinnaclism itself brings with it. I will continue to write more about Pinnaclism. I just wanted to study this futurist dynamic under the scope of a philosophy I thought up on my own. If you find these ideas interesting, please let me know by commenting below or sending me a message. Enjoy!

 

Far removed from typical conversation with others, the ideas presented in today’s article are vast and complex in nature and I am not claiming a level of high proficiency in either are of research, I however do have questions, concerns, and inspiration to gain from both sets of ideas. I know there are passionate followers of both ideologies out there so while I respect your positions completely and even embrace some of them, I also want to offer any criticism that may help further both our understanding. The approaching singularity promises to bring about dramatic changes to the very existence of mankind in the universe, not just here on planet earth. Thinking about trans-humanism requires you to challenge many of your beliefs about reality and will even lead you to understanding some of the basic laws of nature in a brand new way.

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.
—”The Coming Technological Singularity” by Vernor Vinge, 1993

 

If Vernor Vinge is correct, we are only 10 years from technological singularity. As humanist, do you have strict reservations to this idea? Trans-humanism after all is the relocating of the human mind and natural life force into a new genetic and technological chimera of humanity that takes on the form of humanity and rises into the cosmos. That’s what I think of when I think of trans-humanism.  That is, perhaps, just my desire to see humanity rise above it’s current problems and finally reach into the universe. A desire to see with my own eyes the universe that surrounds me and be able to understand larger portions of it in powerful and meaningful ways. Long have many of us dreamed of one day being able to orbit earth. Imagine yourself being able to live in an artificial body and being able to produce space craft and exploring what is not yet known about the universe. However, I feel it is only fair to bring up what I asked in the beginning of this paragraph. What would a humanist say about this ideology. What are their moral standards and where do they draw the line on any of these issues?

Personally, I take the idea with a grain of salt. While I do want to be able to do as described, I want to be sure that’s actually what we get when we hit the singularity. If it means giving birth to a tyrannical A.I. that’s soul purpose is to control us, then all I need to know is how trans-humanist are thinking along those lines. Will trans-humanist society be completely voluntary? If so, what does self defense look when considering the increased strength, speed, intelligence, and over all upgrade in mind and body? Will we have independent monitoring programs that you can volunteer to the public if you choose? Is there a way to hack around any privacy measures one may employ? Are we going to use metal framed human skeletons, or are we going to become genetic X-Men who can morph into whatever we please? It’s not the idea that we can do it that I have reservations on, in fact, I encourage anyone who wants to try to be the first trans-human to go for it. My reservations are reservations I believe will exist in even the most ardent of trans-humans will have to face as a real challenge once making the leap. I want them to be thinking about this now and hope that they are so that the project is successful and fully implemented.

Will aggression in human kind be eliminated by becoming a trans-human? Or will it only enrich it and foster it into a new realm of cruelty and despair for those less fortunate? Will the desire to be controlled be introduced into the population via upload? Perhaps it’s even more sinister and looks more like The Matrix film where humanity is farmed for energy and is kept in a comatose state connected to a central AI program that keeps them trapped inside a lie.  While I know many trans-humanist advocates may read this and feel that I am being paranoid, discouraging, or disparaging. I am asking them to stop for a moment and recognize the many problems humanity has proven it has over the years. While I know the past is the past, it does allow one to know and understand what humanity is capable of doing with a strictly humanist mind, body, and over all spirit. I am not discouraging the research into trans-humanism. What I am attempting to do is ask those in the community of trans-humanism to open up to the world about their plans so that we the people can ride right alongside the development of this technology so that we can learn what’s being done to help ensure the safety of this technology.

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.” – Kurt Vonnegut 

My view of Humanism means you’ve already embraced the fact that you will die and that you are morally okay with this fact. To me, it means you will not hold others accountable for this fact and will treat them with the same respect you desire to be treated with. It means that you are more than happy to provide your best to the world and help improve the standard of living of all life around you, including trans-humans, who may be looked upon with harsh criticism. Being humanist in a trans-human world means you are the most free a human being could ever hope to be. Free from the injustices when ruled over by violence criminals who’s lust for power caused mass chaos and violence of the beginning of the singularity. Humanism is the wisdom in ensuring trans-humanist society is one based off non-aggression, peace, prosperity, and the well being of all life.  While there are dangers in any new technology, I believe humanity is capable of achieving this goal of technological singularity in peace. However, I do recognize there are significant challenges laying in wait before this comes to reality. Whatever the choice, I believe we will reach a pinnacle in society where peace, freedom, prosperity, and the well being of life is perfected.

Thank You for Reading! Please share, comment, contact me, or simply like the article if you choose.

I am eager to hear feedback from others!

Scott D. Vogler

Pinnaclism: A Philosophy for Peace in a Brave New World.

Pinnaclism1

Pinnaclism

Taking the vastly superior ideas from any given political or social movement and combining them under one umbrella of exceeding peace and harmony with the laws of nature. When those ideas compete with one another, choose the ideas which present the most solutions and extrapolate the errors from faulty ideas and incorporate them into the solution as well. Using technology, genetics, and other applied sciences we could be capable of a vastly different and superior set of rules. Enhanced to bring about peaceful and beneficial outcomes, the mere presence of a transhuman chimera alone would greatly increase the possibility of peace being the outcome of potentially violent situations. There are many ideas in the world and universe on how best to bring solution to any given situation.  Pinnaclism is a standard for accepting the input from all voices able to speak on the matter, however illogical, analyzing that information, and using it to greatly increase the possibility for a peaceful arrangement to be made.

Extropy


The term extropy, coined by Tom Bell (T.O. Morrow) and defined by Max More in January 1988, as “the extent of a living or organizational system’s intelligence, functional order, vitality, energy, life, experience, and capacity and drive for improvement and growth.” Extropy expresses a metaphor, rather than serving as a technical term, and so is not simply the opposite of entropy, although it is also considered the appropriate antonym. The philosophy of Extropy, written by Max More, is the original philosophy of trans-humanism. (Source:) http://www.websters-dictionary-online.com/definition/extropy

With the use of genetics and cybernetics, we can greatly increase our output of solutions to various issues like violence, war, economic issues, political agenda’s, and the vastness that is everything else. This will lead to an acceleration of peaceful alternatives to nearly everything. The decision to disrupt this peace will have long since been solved by the time it occurs. While you are free to remain completely human and independent or whether you choose to merely be assisted by androids, or perhaps you go all the way and become a real trans-human the Pinnaclist ideology can be embraced by any self-aware entity so long as it is done voluntarily. Non-aggression plays a large role in creating a Pinnaclist lifestyle, you must learn to embrace the idea of patients, and to allow your pride to be an emotion that motivates you towards peace, not be replaced by spite and malice. While there is no strict enforcement of any rules, the idea is to allow yourself to volunteer your goodwill to the world and produce an outcome that benefits yourself and those around you.
This form of anarchism is the only solution to an authoritarian state where violence is deemed required to spread ideology. Pinnaclism seeks to listen to all positions and put them to the test on the market or public arena and adjusting to the reality of the situation. This requires a very active participation from individuals on a personal basis. Where problems exist, people must bring their ideas to the table, even if faulty, it will create a ground by which another can apply the benefit of hindsight and fill in the gaps. This process should repeat until ultimately the economic or social situation is solved to the satisfaction of those individuals involved. With increased computing power this process can be done as fast as the technology allows it to be produced. Implant this technology in a human chimera and allow it to thrive, one Transhuman could do the work of 10,000 men in just one day. In no way do I assert the numbers I’ve chosen to be scientifically legitimate, the point I hope to raise should be obvious.

Self defense under a Pinnaclist format would be a very powerful ability to ward off any attack whether natural or intended. The ability to eradicate negative and destructive consequences before they happen is much more powerful than blasting a thing into oblivion. While I believe it would be at first safe to rely on destructive power, eventually, non-lethal attack capabilities can decrease casualties and also enhance the ability of others to bring about much more positive and constructive consequences. I am not of mind to know exactly how this idea can be done in reality using technology and I would hate to try to speculate, however, I believe philosophy can help even the most ardent of scientist to be inspired enough to extrapolate an idea into a real working machine. The idea I’m trying to represent is that of pre-cognition. The ability to react to a situation either as fast as reality allows or making a breakthrough and gaining the ability to react to situations before they occur.

Try to imagine the possibilities and corrections you can make to my idea and run with it to the next person who works with you peacefully to create new realities, the idea is to allow this process to continue and grow into a new society based on real information and the accepting of new proposals in order to reach a peaceful end to all situations. I realize that what I am proposing is far from perfect but I see the realities sinking in more and more and feel I am interested enough in all of this rhetoric to make my comments publicly. I hope these ideas do not come off as completely far-fetched to those of you who are also enthusiastic about this technological frontier. I only hope that you can gain something useful from my thoughts and use them in a way that benefits not only yourself, but to all of those within your survey.
Eliminating that which hinders the ability of life to thrive, explore, learn, express, and participate in nature is the ultimate goal of Pinnaclism. It is not just one idea that makes all other’s irrelevant, rather an idea that expresses the desire to accept even more input from a virtually limitless sources. A Humanist being applies this by co-existing with trans-humans. The incentives to harmonize with each other will exist in that Humanist created Transhumanist to bring peace to the planet. Once rendered obsolete by machines, Humanist will enjoy exactly the same freedom as every other life form. They will live healthy lives and share their ideas with trans-humans who sometimes require input from beings less intelligent as illustrated when a human child teaches an adult something very profound and useful. Everything will be designed to increase the living standards for even those who choose to be homeless and totally dependent on the system. Even these individuals will be treated with utmost respect because it is beneficial for all life to live in nature in such a state of harmony. The Pinnaclist philosophy seeks to transcend pre-disposition and outward appearance. How to help life thrive in harmony is the question Pinnaclism seeks to answer.
Perhaps under this light, we can eventually find the root causes of aggressive authority in our world. In the interest of the survival of life on planet earth, dig and cut those roots once and for all, ridding ourselves of an evolutionary weakness. Pinnaclism is for anyone who should choose to accept the ideology, with the use of technology and armed with the truth, a single human being can bring about social and economic well-being for a significant amount of people without the use of violence and coercion. Humanity, whether humanist or trans-humanist, should in my view pour their interest into a Pinnaclist ideology because it embraces the ideas of all and every single entity which chooses to gain knowledge from it and express itself through it. Even violent rhetoric is encouraged because this will allow any number of other individuals to weigh in on the situation and combining their solutions into a near cure-all output of productivity and abundance that can provide all parties with permanent and peaceful solutions that work for the benefit of all life in the universe. This idea is about universality of peace and prosperity and understanding the balance of nature.

Thank you for reading and be sure to check back in, I will be posting more on this subject in a few days! 🙂
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