A couple of weeks ago, we reported that Mike Collins' label Culture Dealer is accepting song-poem submissions for a new, limited cassette series. We couldn't resist, so we submitted our own that will soon find a home on a split cassingle with another, hopefully bizarre, submission. To channel the golden oddities of song-poems past, we arranged verbiage from some of the original Altered Zones contributors' posts to form the abstract poem that The Doobie Sisters Family Band-- a rotating cast of studio musicians assembled by Collins-- translated into an acid-washed shapeshifter that's worthy of both hip-twisting and cloud-gazing.
In the process of sending and receiving lyrics and artwork, I was able to ask Collins a couple of questions regarding the impetus of undertaking a project such as this. Besides citing Off The Charts: The Song Poem Story, he said, "I hate the idea of how many writers, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, etc. remain inactive because of self-consciousness, personal strife or lack of inspiration. That's just the whole idea for me. Before I really found my voice creatively, I was lucky to have a number of truly supportive close friends and collaborators, and my path now is to simply express myself and fuel the fire of others who might need an invitation to do so." If Altered Zones were a band, I don't know if it would sound like this, but with Mike Collins at the helm, it does. --Mark Craig, Altered Zones
We've provided the lyrics, and their source links for you after the jump. If you have $15, Culture Dealer is still accepting submissions
Run DMT's Culture Dealer imprint is accepting lyrics submissions to make your very own song poems. For those unfamiliar with song poems, you should really watch PBS' documentary, Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story, but the basic concept is as such: you send your poetry to a company who, for a nominal fee, will make and record a song based on writing and send it back to you. As one might expect, the kind of people who would actually do this tend to be a tad wacky, a trend that has blessed us with the batshit insanity of gems like Caglar Juan Singletary's "Non-Violent Taekwondo Troopers" or, my personal favorite, Ramsey Kearney's acid-fueled proverb, "Blind Man's Penis." If you want to make it to the big time and keep this tradition alive, send your lyrics, band name, and whatever else to Culture Dealer Studios where The Doobie Sisters Family Band will record your song to cassette as a split with another aspiring song poet. If you're up for it, you may even be featured as part of their One Hitter Wonders Compilation series. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones
In the year-and-a-half or so since I first heard his Bong Voyage release-- incidentally, the first album I ever received from an artist intended exclusively for MediaFire download-- I've seen Run DMT's Mike Collins go from making abstract sound collages to fronting his own jam band and even transforming google-searched LiveJournal entries into ballads for acoustic guitar. He first began contacting me under the pseudonym "Kirby Adams," and has since told me many an elaborate yarn about traveling America by freight train. These days, Mike is doing a whole lot less drifting, and has set up semi-permanent shop in Baltimore to crank out the first releases for his brand cassette tape and "home video" label, Culture Dealer.
First on the menu is a so-called Video Door VHS collection, which compiles "mental maps, warped perspectives, dream exploits, nose cameras, [and] audio-visual experiments" from some twelve artist and musician friends (including AZ fave Miko Revereza), and which we can expect to be about as bizarre as DMT's shape-shifting persona. Culture Dealer also currently has three tapes for sale: one from each half of the equally protean/prolific Montreal-Brooklyn duo Tonstartssbandht, and Dreams, Run DMT's first full-length release in over a year. The scorched wah guitar and motown-inspired bassline on "Romantic," below, promise a particularly raised lighter-worthy iteration of the DMT sound. --Emilie Friedlander, Altered Zones
Visit Culture Dealer for more info