LESPHINXX interview

Had the wonderful opportunity to interview LESPHINXX!!! Really into their Lp right now… ENJOY!!!!

M.P. I was blasting your album as I road a bus through the Catskills today and I remembered we agreed to do an interview and as the trees changing leaves blurred your music took me over and I felt like today is the day! First, I just gotta say the reason I am so into your music is its energy. For me whenever I listen to your album I feel like I’m transforming into a teenage girl bursting with happiness and raving her life away and that’s like the greatest feeling ever. Is that intentional or am I just crazy?!

D.L.S. Thank you for listening to LESPHINXX while driving through the forest, especially during this time of year when nature makes it’s decent into the under world. The veil gets thinner and thinner this time of year, so this is the season for Lesphinxx music for sure. And yes many of our songs possess teenager vibes. I believe I am in a perpetual state of teenager but while deeply rooted in the wisdom of the crone.

I am really really excited that we are releasing our second Lp Ħaġar Qim later this Fall 2013 though Sisterjams. Ħaġar Qim (“Standing/Worshipping Stones”) is a megalithic goddess temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). My family on my father’s side is from Malta originally so this is like an homage to my roots and also to the cosmic mother.

M.P. Your album rides this fine line, for me, of complete accessibility and then I hear you in the background screaming, “harder, faster, more more more” and the tempo picks up and goes in really absurdly wonderful directions that I feel like so many people would love to dance to. Like “THZ DMZ” is just completely wonderful. Thank you! What’s “THZ DMZ” stand for? And how do you go about titling tracks? Where does Le Sphinxxx come from?

D.L.S. I’m really really happy that you love our music, thank you. “THZ DRMZ” stands for “These Dreams”. Danny remixed the vocals on “These Dreams” by Heart. Danny re-created the sensation/sound of going up and down on a roller coaster on the beat of this remix. This song is dedicated to his mother, Debbie.

When titling songs we usually will just take one or two words from the lyrics of a track. I’d like to say something more interesting like we use a baby name book or something. When it comes to writing lyrics I listen to the subconscious. I’ll quiet my waking thoughts and let things arise from the void. This isn’t always easy, flow really depends on a lot of things. Like astrological phenomenon , whether i feel energetically full or not. I really try to throw myself to a higher plane/dimension to receive melodies. Even if it’s just for a moment when i see a vision of some sorts and i feel like I’m soaring. In that moment I will find a melody and pull it down into a song.

I chose the name LESPHINXX because of the legend/symbolism surrounding the sphinx is to choose one’s own destiny. I happen to read about this in one of my favorite Joseph Campbell books, “The Power of the Myth”.

M.P. When I’ve explained to friends what your music is like I’ve said, “it’s like what I always wanted out of Grimes!” Does that seem like a fair way of describing you? I feel like you’re what Grimes wishes she sounded like, Grimes with some soul…. Since you go by Doorways I feel like you’re completely tapped into this, a psychic person ready to channel and help people do so too. Does that seem accurate? What else?!

Q5) Well I love Grimes but we are different creatures. She is like a dolphin and I’m more like a bat. Although we have similar sounding voices at times, LESPHINXX has a tendency to be a lot heavier and darker. Being that I go by Doorways well yes that is for a reason. I can’t remember where I was when I decided to change my name. But I do know that something gave me the name, it just appeared in my mind out of nowhere. That’s usually a good indicator that you are receiving information out side of your self. I can not say that I am a fully open & trained psychic. I often do have supernatural experiences though and this is a huge source of inspiration for my art and music. So it’s only natural for LESPHINXX fans to become inspired in such a way when they hear our songs or see us play live. It is my deepest intent to unlock and usher in sacred divine feminine energies we perform live or create art.

M.P. The first time I saw you perform you showed up an hour early and completely transformed the room you were playing it. It was Robot Moon Juice’s boyfriends last night in his old apartment and everyone came out in support of their eviction. I was exhausted as it was the end of gay pride weekend but still I went and I’m so glad for it! The times I’ve seen you live I’ve been blown away by your live presence. It manages to be casual and welcoming but you also really get people dancing. What is the motivation for your back up dancers wearing those masks?

D.L.S. Oh yeah ! I love Robot Moonjuice he is a good friend of mine lots of Love to him and his music career. He is actually on the cover of our first LP Athame, running in the nude through Cypress Hills Cemetery. The photograph was taken by our great friend photographer Ishmail Thoth Ra. When we play live we usually play through out the DIY circuit and bring along a pop up installation. Our current installation is a sort of a neo – ancient Egyptian temple which I created out of spray paint and dollar store goods. We are more of an art group then just a band. Lyfty Sirena and Uniska Wahala Kano are the dancers / performance artists in LESPHINXX whom are actual permanent members of this group. When they perform they are more like channels for other-worldy expression. We are like a band of mythological entities. Moon girl is going to haunt you !

M.P. Also, what is the process of making music versus performing music like for you? Is one side of the process more enjoyable or more of the focus for you?

D.L.S. song writing vs playing live …. There is a huge difference between writing songs and performing live. I enjoy both art forms but playing live and being on tour is definitely more fun. If I’m lucky I’ll write a song in a day. Sometimes a song will come through a telephone or through a window. Just like that it will show up in a connection with a person or even the wind will give me a song. But usually I’ll start with a beat and a bass line and sort of chant over it for a few hours. I will play synths / guitars over it for another few hours. Lurking for the right sounds / mix etc etc. Finally I will listen back to about 20 – ish different melodies per instrument and pick out what sounds most moving . My ears will not settle for anything too easy or boring. It’s like mining for crystals. I have to get through all this dead-ness in my aura, tear it open, jump off the high dive. When I hit a wall with a song that I’m really into is when I’ll hand it over to Danny. He ends up adding really dope beats sounds etc. It’s kind of like writing music would be baking the cake and then playing live is eating it up and having a food fight. Playing live is very ceremonial for us. We always burn sage at shows, transform a space with all of our weird art. We bring a portal with us in a suitcase along with strobe lights fog machine incense. We never know what’s going to come through. It could be anything from spirits, to fairies. This may sound ridiculous but the portal is alive and well. This is our deepest intent there for it is.

M.P. Your music has this very ethereal, almost supernatural quality, as it also taps into a range of emotions and drives. A lot of the songs are so simple but also seemingly reach so far, which is everything. Songs like “Is He It” completely transcends me and bring a smile to my face every time. What is the story behind the song and whose the guy singing with you? Is he it?! I guess what I’m asking you is, how personal are these songs? They seem really personal. And if they are, I feel like that’s why they’re so charged.

D.L.S. About “is He it ?” Well that’s me and Danny singing. This track is about questioning & destroying self-doubt. It’s about him literally writing a song to prove that he can write a song. I believe all of our songs are very personal.

M.P. Can you tell us a little about where you come from, what music has inspired your craft, why you started making music?

We are all from NY. My family is from Queens, Jackson Heights and Astoria. I lived in queens as a kid and then we moved to Nassau on Long Island where I grew up in West Hempstead. Lyfty is also from Long Island / Wantagh and her family is from Guatamala. Danny’s family is from Brooklyn/Manhattan/L.I. And finally Uniska is from Jamaica Queens. On both sides of my family there are a tons of artists and musicians, My grandparents play music, my great grand parents, my parents, my uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings. It’s in my blood for sure, i am very blessed. Music really would seize my entire being even when i was a little girl. Finally when i was a teenager I picked up a guitar and stared to play like mostly punk stuff. And just continued to pay attention to this really bright and burning feeling that music gave me. I basically answered the call.

D.L.S. My favorite bands would be Siouxsie and the Banshees, Crystal Castles, Blonde Redhead. I love a lot of goth music like VNV Nation, BlutEngel. I grew up listening to tons of riot grrrl like Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, Heavens to Betsy, Sleater KInney, L7, Hole, Lunachicks. I’m also totally in love with many of the current girl groups here in Bushwick, BK wear I live; like Gluuu, Dark Sister, Culttastic, Oriana Gold just to name a few. We are going to start up a monthly festival called Temple of Kali, featuring all music + art by woman. We are aiming to make it as big as Lollapalooza.

Now go buy the Lp!

the magick of autumn has only just begun

I cheated on my cats tonight with this little furball named Buttercup! His mommy was stressed with work sooo I took her out on the town. We hung out in Washington Square Park for awhile, ran around the dog run then sat at the fountain and listened to Adam Roads magically strum his guitar… then I met his friend Danielle Parente and both of them are making lovely music! We chatted for awhile and shared our tastes in music as we listened to him strum and people from all over the park continually gathered around in admiration. I just kept staring at the fountain and then cast my gaze up toward the moon, basking in the moment which felt so wonderfully New York, the kind of New York I want to always be experiencing, well maybe except the part wherein I watched as Buttercup tried to eat her own shit. Pups will be pups. Really tho: LOVING this transition from summer into the breezier and far lovelier Autumn nights… I wait for them all summer, without them I’d probably never survive the horrifically overheated and sewage filled summer’s New York City always manages to provide. Well enough with that! It’s time to feel and absorb all of the magic about to burst into being.

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

#whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney #whitewitcheshoney

Oh, I also read Sarah Schulman’s “The Gentrification of the Mind” today while working at BGSQD. I now work there on Tuesday’s. Come say hi and peruse zines with me!! And if you haven’t read “The Gentrification of the Mind” yet, do yourself a favor and do that immediately. I spent most of the day overwhelmed with grief and on the verge of tears as the history of queers isn’t all porn and wild abandonment. It seems like every generation really gets pushed to the brink, yet still we manage to continually fight for our passions. We’re an amazing lot indeed! And so are all the rest of the communities affected by gentrification and the wave of wealth that has changed the city (please read this article). Anyway, I felt like hanging in Washington Square park with a couple kids playing music and crowds of queer couples holding each other as they listened, rasta guys getting really into it, tourists, middle aged women, hipster kids, homeless wanderers, all seemed to connect to the strumming and the moon, yes that moon, it just made me feel hopeful again. Like maybe the part in “The Gentrification of the Mind” where Sarah argues that there will indeed come a better day that isn’t ruled by corporate oppressive bullshit policies and political assholes will come.

Here’s a brief passage I really enjoyed:

“Gentrification culture was a twentieth-century, fin de siecle rendition of bourgeois values. It defined truth telling as antisocial instead of as a requirement for decency. The action of making people accountable was decontextualized as inappropriate. When there is no context for justice, freedom-seeking behavior is seen as annoying. Or futile. Or drag. Or oppressive. And dismissed and dismissed and dismissed until that behavior is finally just not seen.”

Queen of Swords: And Other Goth Girl Dreams

In the spirit of “goth girl” / torrid love girl / it’s a full moon / witch-craft, I give you my “tarot poem” from my “tarot of the witches” deck, the deck used in a 70’s James Bond film. I got this deck from an older friend a long time ago and I’m pretty positive it’s been around since the 70s. Sacred shit! I asked for guidance about my <3<3<3 life cuz what else does one worry about!?! And the results were funny, at least to me! Oh and it’s all dedicated to one of favorites, whose at the bottom of this mess. Facebook has described her as an anarcho-wiccan psychomaterialist ecobuddhist liberation army.

1. The Present. 9 of Wands. The fist, which is a symbol of power and the divine in Enochian Magick, which is what Aleister and many other fraternal orders across the centuries have practiced. Keyword: men! Hidden enemies. Strength. Confrontation. Much difficulty! Yes!!!! I’ve been drinking too much and have been an emotional mess for months… which is sooo cute! No wonder he hates you. You are crazy and out of control.

2. Immediate Influence. The Chariot. Knight with a shield riding a chariot pulled by two horses. Immediately thought of the horse from the dream + fly poem, the fact he’s a Sagittarius, never connected the two of them… barf! His shield hosts a snake. He has a star on his cheek and is beneath the moon. Quite cosmic. He is also covered in suns. The knight riding through darkness, radiating light… he is a symbol of inner strength and not of upheaval! Do I gotta do daily mantras of “you are strong?! you are capable?! you will be okay?!” Does this mean I need to keep the head held high?! And focus on work? War! Vengence! Difficulty! Trouble! Turmoil! Perplexity. Triumph. Indecision. Failure. Rushing into decisions. Outside factors. Defeat. Voyage. Escaping chaos. Fleeing from reality. Something tells me this card is also all about and very much representing him… where ever he is.

3. Goal or Destiny. The tower. It’s being struck by lightning, destiny, with the sun and moon in the sky. Maybe I need to balance my day/night more!? The top is crumbling and it’s cloudy as fuck, awful black clouds!!! The trees are leafless. Doesn’t seem like the greatest fate. Should I stop my “loving” side?! Maybe it needs to be revamped?! Is that always the answer??? Am I insane??? Probably just two intense a person….. change. Disruption. Calamity. Misery. Deception. Unexpected event. Ruin. Termination. Bankrupcy. Events left behind. Breaking down of old beliefs. Abandonment of past relationships. Breakthrough into new areas…. Okay… fuck boys! You’re single bitch…. Ride or die bitch…. You really just are a wild ho.

4. Distant Past Foundations. Seven of Swords (first read as 7 of batons accidently). More batons! My past is really still probably two influential on me!!!! Time to evolve… I need to forget all the familial mooshy bullshit and just be me. The image is a foot with wings over the Achilles heal. Our fuck ups are what will allow us to fly?! Our weaknesses as strength: go new age bullshit! Go! The foot is hovering above a volcano in a circle. Sun / moon both there! Success! Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself?! Celebrate the weirdo I am?! In all my complexities… I love myself and my friends and family… #everything Gain! Surmountable obstacles. Advantage… overcoming challenges… OMG OMG OMG I just realized it’s a 7 of swords!!! Which changes everything, obviously!!! Attempt. New plans. Hope. Confidence. Wish. Efforts. I feel like I wanna moosh both of the meanings together!!! I feel like I’ve moved through all the readings stages and do finally feel good about our relationship! It’s come full circle. My visit home was splendid! Maybe I just need to give him time, it’s all I can do, obviously, but like maybe I should just hope he’s fine and float on. It’s just weird as knowing that he’s somewhere within walking distance most likely and that we cannot even say hi is like so weird for it to have become. We shared so much together… I just don’t get it! But that’s not my privilege, obviously!!! Since he doesn’t want me to be involved in his life. Hate is real!

5. Recent past. Queen of Swords. Obviously! She has her sword out!! And she’s wearing all pink and it’s me!! It’s definitely me!! She even has a mane and a crown on and her blue eyeliner/mascara is everything. Fierce (hate that word but she is undeniable) You’ve been definitely fighting! He knows you loved him. It wasn’t what he wanted. Move on! Quick witted. Keen. Possible sadness. Loneliness. Privation. Seperation. Mourning. Deep!!! Definitely me. Making this my facebook profile pic. She is such a mystical witch warrior.

6. Future influence. 8 of stars. Eight stars with an eye open in the center of a circle, it’s blue. There is a fire above it and mountains/water below. 3rd eye obviously. Use it more! It’s really the coins/diamond card but I prefer to call it stars cuz I’m into glow stars. Money!! Definitely need to make that more of the priority. Concentrate on work. And the card is all about it. Apprenticeship. Preliminary learning. Craftsmanship. Frankness. Personal effort. Keep trying / growing. Evolving… blah blah blah!!!

7. The Questioner. 2 of swords. Lots of swords. This is war, honey and there is a flying foot again!! That’s the past in your self?! “2”. The past merging with the present. Two swords crossed. Stalemate. Offsetting factors – all the craziness of Chelsea! Harmony. Firmness: hella horny… Accord. Balanced force. Wanting what I can’t have: reconciliation.

8. Environmental Factors. The Empress. We both are definitely her… maybe two queens is too much! Quote of the rest of your life! Action. Development. Progress. Fruitfulness. Fertility. Attainment. Accomplishment. Marriage. Mother. Sister. Wife. Feminine influence. Subterfuge. Tears. Female guiles. Harrassment. Spendthrift. Nagging. Practical. Decisive. All qualities he saw/hated in you!! He hates you. The empress holds the world.

9. Inner Emotions. 4 of cups. Heart is in the center, obviously! There is an arrow through it. Obviously! It’s pink. Weariness. Aversion. Disgust. Disdain. Bitter experience. Yep! Yep! Yep! Why do I miss it?! Ummm cuz I’m totally batshit crazy like T-boz. You don’t deserve arrows shot through the beautiful organ! You deserve to be treated well / cherished. What you went through wasn’t “it”… fuck “it!” 😉

10. Culmination. The Hermit. Obviously! He’s on an island beneath the moon with a bird on his shoulder and a diary in his hand with a quill feather (prolly from the bird). Sage burns next to him. It’s fucking you, honey! You! You! You! He’s beneath the moon and all… Get used to it! And love it! He looks perplexed cuz he’s prolly so fucking lonely. Whatever! Prudence. Withdrawal. Circumspection. Caution. Solicitude. Loner. Insensitive. Expressionless. Misleading. Misguiding. Regression. Recession. Failure to face facts. Tendency to withhold emotion. Fearful of discovery. I feel like this is a list to avoid. Maybe that’s what I’m gonna amount to: someone to avoid or I need to swiftly undo the parts of me which will enhance that probability?! Aka self care / self improvement. Time to go to the gym, bitch! And fucking please to fucking god get a job!!! Work work work!!! Hermit!

I leave you with the words of one of my all time favorite witches / spiritual healers / and all around bad-ass!!! I cannot believe these words were ever used in reference to her. We are surrounded by WAR!!! Never forget that!!! Get out your healing crystals!!!

summer reading mash up: thoreau cahun cooper cage

cahun

What! With all those wonderful beings around you… You’d have had time to think of me! And me so small… it’s a mistake, but do still make it… continue to make this sweet mistake with me.

Would you like to join a society called Capitalists Inc. (Just so no one would think we were Communists.)? Anyone joining automatically becomes president. To join you must show you’ve destroyed at least one hundred records or, in the case of tape, one sound mirror [tape recorder]. To imagine you own any piece of music is to miss the whole point: This is no point or the point is nothing; and even a long-playing record is a thing. A lady from Texas said: I live in Texas. We have no music in Texas. The reason they’ve no music in Texas is because they have recordings. Remove the records from Texas and someone will learn how to sing.

Alone – which you call: being free, you who forge the bars of your own prison.

Here we are now at the beginning of the
third unit of the fourth large part of this talk.
More and more I have the feeling that we are getting
nowhere. Slowly , as the talk goes on
, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure
. It is not irritating to be where one is . It is
only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.

**INSERT LONG PAUSE**
*GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK*

Here we are now at the beginning of the
ninth unit of the fourth large part of this talk.
More and more I have the feeling that we are getting
nowhere. Slowly , as the talk goes on
, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleaure
. It is not irritating to be where one is . It is
only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.

It’s over!!!!! I live on feebly, clinging to words, to fables!!!!!!!! Clinging to the dead!!, to great names!!!, to those disasters in which I claimed to see my vanity!!!, my ruin and my damned remains!!!, justified by the Conqueror’s rage!!! (Among so many confessions, what a ludicrous confession. I’m wrong to emphasise it. It would be best to let it all pass unnoticed.)

However, I feel fucking terrible….. Without doubt: my soul has become ingrown like a nail nobody has bothered to file regularly.

I am here , and there is nothing to say .
If among you are
those who wish to get somewhere , let them leave at
this moment .

Does the world have to be badly made for a being who is odd, but sexually sociable, to be forced to take refuge in crime as if it were a convent, not only to live in but even to create some new values there!

But what kind of crime? …. what does it matter! A dead end..

The confession of my shame:
Will I blame the circumstances, my contemporaries? These aren’t the circumstances of my life, these are its causes that led it astray. I was condemned before I was born. Executed in absentia.

The unnatural ones, the real ones:
No more impossible metaphysics – let them be consigned to the accessory shop: theatrical costumes but their impossible physiques remain with us, alas! – or thank god – the really tragic ones, with no theatrical strings.

My face fucking hurts!

I have nothing to say
and I am saying it and that is
poetry as I need it .

———————————————
beware of
that which is breathtakingly beautiful, for at any moment
the telephone may ring or the airplane
may come down in a vacant lot . A piece of string
or a sunset , possessing neither ,
each acts and the continuity happens

The death of Narcissus has always seemed totally incomprehensible to me. Only one explanation seems plausible: Narcissus did not love himself. He allowed himself to be deceived by an image. He didnt know how to go beyond appearances. Had he fallen in love with the face of a nymph rather than his own, his mortal impotence would have remained the same. But had he known how to love himself beyond the mirage his would have been a happy fate, the epitome of living paradise, the myth of the privileged man, worthy of envy down the centuries. That beautiful child was able to extract the infinite from his reflections, while we remain vibrations away, always the same, incapable of going any further. Oh Narcisus, you could love yourself in everything…

Eternity without you, without me, we have no need for it. We have this moment which forces itself upon us, out of love for whoever life has thrown at us, we alter ourselves to such an extent that if the ideal one ever came along we’d be incompatible without mercy, which limits us and is incarnate in an omnipotent void this categoric imperative.

“yet it is not our birth day but our death day that really defines who we were”
-blissfull2012

WAILING MERMAIDS

Apparently Nico knew about the wailing Mermaids of the deep sea long before Animal Planet… were they calling to her the day she fell off her bike and died? I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately… I keep telling myself it’s just cuz I’m trying to come to terms with turning into grains of sand. But I’ve been having this feeling that it’s gonna be a lot more complex than that!!!!!! The other day when I was exfoliating on the bottom of the sea, I was feeling hella connected to the OMNiverse cuz being submerged in water enhances what is always happening because it’s easier to feel “connected” when in water, versus when encapsulated by air. But yeah, my friend was telling me she was thinking about her ancient starfish self and then I was realizing that we’re all just a conglomeration of particles… and as I realized that, I also understood myself (myself being this giant hodgepodge of parts) to have been a part of soooo many OTHER selves… like say I’m 100 billion particles, well, all of those 100 billion little pieces were at some point helping to make 100 billion other sorts of selves… or grains of sand, anyway, like we now know, mermaids are real, they like to wail, and they will probably eat a bitch.

OOOoooooOOooOoh yeah, 9/11 was an inside job and Dan Wallace “mysteriously” died in his sleep @ 23.

Reading at Spoonbill with Lee Ann Brown!!!

Tomorrow night at 7:30pm I’ll be reading with Lee Ann Brown at Spoonbill! Lee Ann just published a collection of poems “In The Laurel’s, Caught” and we’re going to be celebrating it’s new-found existence!!! I’ll be reading from Parasite. Hope to see you!!!

Spoonbill is here: 218 Bedford Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211