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It was, they told us, the very latest in technology. The cutting edge, the newest of the new. “Free Your Mind With DreamShare,” was their slogan, and they promised us a new age of uninhibited creativity.


It was easy to use. Drink down a packet of nanos dissolved into water, put the specs on, and dream your way to hours of entertainment and experimentation. When you woke up you could watch what you had dreamed on your tablet and edit it with a few taps of your keypad. The DreamShare webspace was soon invaded by millions of people’s dreams set to music, tagged with the users who uploaded them and organized by category (Slasher! Space Travel! Surrealism!). Some of the first went viral simply because they were the first broadcasted dreams anyone had ever seen. We later learned to be more discerning, preferring the organized plotlines of experienced lucid dreamers to the hazy events of your average Jane’s nighttime brain-wanderings. Still then it was free, and so new.


Of course the porn industry caught on first. “Sex Dreaming With The Stars” was the first big series to be released on holodisk, and they bought up the dreams of just about anyone who had a racy sheet-stainer involving a celebrity. Arthouse types followed, with just about every asshole who could conjure up a melting clock calling himself the “Dali of DreamShare.” Hollywood was slow to pick up on the fad, assuming that people would rather see the work of real writers, real directors, with real actors saying planned lines, but when the box office numbers for the film industry’s first five years after DreamShare’s release went public everyone’s shareholders pressured the studios to partner up get into the business of projected dreams.


To reignite interest in Hollywood-produced dreams, they organized a talent search for the world’s most interesting and creative dreamers. When they found them, they signed them up for contracts of one year, five years, even life if they were worth it. Every dream the lucky winners dreamed belonged to the studios, with a small percentage of the profit going right back to DreamShare. They paid the dreamers a lot, from what I hear. More than I think they were willing to, even with the huge amounts of money rolling in from people who wanted to see big name dreams on even bigger screens.


After a while they stopped wanting to pay for people’s dreams. They tried to sneak it on us at first. Dreams started showing up in theaters by “Anonymous” dreamers who, it was later found out, had not consented to have their work shown for profit. Some of them hadn’t even shared the dream on the webspace before they saw it coming up as some studio’s next great venture. One guy tried to sue once, but DreamShare had written it into the fine print of the very first version of their product that they had the right to any information uploaded onto their database, and every dream recorded with their technology was backed up onto their cloud server. Nobody knew that because nobody read it, and now someone else had the rights to their dreams.


So everyone stopped. They threw out their DreamShare mechs, smashed their specs, and stopped drinking nano water almost overnight. Poor bastards thought they were accomplishing something. They didn’t know that DreamShare had lied to them. Those nanobots, you don’t piss them out within a day or two of consuming them. They stay in your body. They build up, a million billion powder-small robots living in your brain and in your blood. And the specs were more or less a formality. As long as you had enough nanotech in your head, your dreams were recorded and used and there was nothing you could do about it.


The screens haunt us now. They hover above our streets and in our houses, selling us products we invented ourselves and showing us fantasies that were supposed to stay secret. Anyone’s dreams are fair game, and you live in fear that one day you’ll look up and see your life, your fiction, your own stolen imagination projected in the sky for the world to see. We more or less entertain ourselves now. It’s the cutting edge of technology. 




This is a "What If...?" story inspired by urbanization (remix)


What if people could see your dreams?

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Fredwatford-1411949
alone (it's all i know)
seldelaterre Released ago

I heard RP's track "Alone Is All I Know" when I woke up this morning and skipped breakfast to record this over it real quick. I ws at a loss for lyrics so I searched the word "lonely" on the site and turned up "Into Midnight" by smweed and even though they're meant to be lyrics to another song I thought they fit perfectly. REmix!


I've been listening to a lot of Lovedrug, a lot of ghost rock and the track sounded to me like a choir of pissed off dead people rocking out in the netherworld. To suit that image, the chorus is super dissonant and could use LOADS more voices. Hint. Stems are a particular weakness of mine, but I'll try to get them up soon. 


REvised Lyrics from smweed's "Into Midnight":


 


I don't know where I've come from, but I know where I've been


And I won't ask for redemption but I know that I have sinned


And I am going into midnight to the end of all things.  


(It's all I know, you know I'm going in alone) 


 


I won't ask you for comfort, I won't ask you for your love


I have stolen all your mercy, baby, I'm the hawk to your dove


And I am going into midnight, from below to above!


 


(It's all I know, you know I'm going in alone)


 


I'm a stranger in the darkness, I'm alone among my friends


(I'm a stranger in the darkness)


I can see the road is open but I can't see where it ends


(I can see the road is open)


And I haven't tasted freedom but I've broken all my strings


(And I haven't tasted freedom)


I am going into midnight to the end of all the things


 


(it's all I know, you know I'm going in alone, all I know)  


 

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Fredwatford-1411949
L-O-V-E S-O-N-G
seldelaterre Released ago

Do re mi fa..so I don’t know


Just how I always end up singing this solo.


I try to set it up to make it easy to duet


...but nothing’s happened yet.


 


'cause A-E-G-C, it doesn’t spell it out like L-O-V-E


But even if I say it clearly music isn’t nearly


Enough to make you see me like I thought it would be


 


Do re mi fa-so in love with everyone but me-re do


I'm sick of all these hopeless cases


Same old loves in New York places- so


I-I-I would like to turn it on itself and sing it:


Do ti la sol fa- but oh no!


 


They say that everyone is music at their heart


We all know the same notes but we're all singing different parts


And when our melodies come harmonies we call it love, or art?


…Don’t get me started on-


 


Do re mi fa- so in love with everyone but me-re do


Sick of all these hopeless cases


Same old loves in New York places- so


I would like to turn it on itself and sing it:


Do ti la- so far you don’t know


 


So I hate to be the one to break the news


But no one’s gonna love you like I do


And I’m feeling like Bogey saying “Here’s to you, kid”


(I tried to act it out but I just looked stupid)


And maybe singing it will make you realize


You and I are meant to harmonize :)


 


Do re mi fa- so in love with everyone but me -re do


I'm sick of all these hopeless cases


same old loves in New York places so


I would like to turn it on itself and sing it:


Do ti la sol fa- but oh no!


 


 


 


Of course I have an idea for a song right after I pack all of my recording equipment. Maybe someday I'll record it properly but for now, it's just me, my laptop microphone, and a ukulele. Feel free to sing along? Chords C G Am F, as usual. 


 

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I never had one of those red hot All-American summers. No boyfriend's blue convertible, no keg in the woods. No Springsteen and stargazing and just awondering' where the year was going to take us. I hate the beach. 


 

My summer is New York during a heat wave. Subway cars that smell like feet with greasy streaks on the mirrored poles. The Cambpell Apartment and cocktails I can't afford but buy anyway. It's walking through Washington Square Park and abandoning a nice pair of pumps to jump into the fountain. Ruining my bra. Going on dates.

 

It's laying out on the rooftop of my shitty fifth-floor walkup in Harlem and bitching about not being able to see any stars. Trying to figure out which bridge is which by the color of their lights across the river. Picking up cigarette butts and lighting the fluff on fire.

 

Freak thunderstorms and climbing out my living room window to shower on the fire escape. The sun reflecting off of the giant glass building where Alexander works, blinding if you look up at the right spot. 

 

Riverside church, which is always air conditioned. Grant's tomb too, which isn't always open. PickIng my way around the legions of tourists to find a cool spot on the marble to nap next to Ulysses and his wife. Trying not to look homeless. Failing.

 

But most of all my summer is you. The chess tables in Washington Square (it's always that park- why was it always that park?), the menthol tongue-mints you ate like crack. It's sneaking crepes into the movie theater and missing the plot twist because we were too busy making out in the front row. Its your eyes, which were mostly green but maybe a little hazel. It's your sweaty hands and not keeping a straight face in the sex shops on sixth avenue. It's going back to college in September.

 

 

-and that's ten!-
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I’m watching all of the things you do like: tapping out your ashes, thumbing through a yellow book and drinking out of glasses,
Swilling down coffees that I don’t like and making them good with sugar and ice and
Walking down the city street (if I remember); walking on our legs and feet (if I remember);
You can be June but I’m gone in December, coming of age of the sixth of November… 


And we are in love, (as if love is a room that we’re in)
And we’re living in New York but all my dreams take place in London and I fear I would die if you talked to me again
With your breath of cinnamon.


I’m feeling your bones on my bones and our bones are all clicking together like calcified clamps.
And I style myself like a star but you augment my light with your sodium lamps.
Sitting in chairs and drinking our tea and looking at you (who is looking at me)- you can pray for my bones and absolve all my sins but I swear by the hole that you’ve buried me in that you don't know my mind, can't imagine my aims and as sure as I always get frightened on planes- 


And you know love's just this room that we bought for the year.
Cause my dreams are in England, my lungs are a wreck and you don’t even want a career.
Still I fear I would die if you talked to me again
With your breath of cinnamon.


And yes, there are things I’ll find hard to dismiss
Like the scrape of your nose against mine when we kiss
And the way I accepted your breath in my lungs
And the taste of your tongue that I taste on my tongue
And the wind blew your roses right out of my purse when the weather was awful; (in London it’s worse.)
And my mother was right when she said you were wrong
But my logical mind isn’t writing this song-


So it’s like love is the ocean that’s more or less blue.
When I’m jet-lagged and cranky and sleeping alone
I may still be there dreaming of you
So I fear I would die
If you walked with me again
With your breath of cinnamon.

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Fredwatford-1411949
Cinnamon
seldelaterre Released ago
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Fredwatford-1411949
Tree of Life
seldelaterre Released ago

Sometimes you come across two records that just make sense in your head. When I heard the pulsing electro-beat of christopher.harn's "Flights" and read joel the gentleman's "context clues on a chalkboard" I immediately heard the words in a melody. Both of these records are great you guys. Thank you SO much for making these. 


If anybody wants to mix this better, let me know and I'll put stems up. There's a "please" somewhere in there on my part. 


 


Lyrics adapted from joel the gentleman’s “context clues on a chalkboard,” only the line in [brackets] is original-ish, and even those are inspired joel the gentleman’s “odd, how strange.”


 


Two handed, grace demanded


I sit up straight while on this planet


And we’re all colors sitting quietly; we’re all crammed inside a cabinet


Waiting patiently as patience, as if our path already planned it


Well, I can’t stand this plain outlandish point of view (in pews with traffic)


Looking back and moving backwards


Dull edged hatchets that never quite hacked it


 


‘till we feel it, ‘til we feel it, ‘til we can admit that we’re all realists


‘till we feel it, ‘til we feel it, ‘til we can admit we know what real is


 


Oh, tree of life, I think I might go blind inside and lose my sight.


Just to prove that I’d be fine.


But we’re all mice we follow light so bright we never notice height, we fall…


Just to prove we’ll be all right.


That seems fair, right?


 


Good thing I brought my A.C. because things are getting heated


In the backseat with bruises matching the ones we got when we were defeated


[And bad things come to those who burn their bridges and build no boats


So I hope you don’t, we can float…]


Sex and violence don’t mix, but our populous of pop culture is too quick to tell us that we need it


While preaching we don’t need shit, oh how convenient


I believe it’s way past time we all relieved this


All we gotta do is feel it…til we can admit that we’re all realists


 


‘till we feel it, ‘til we feel it, ‘til we can admit that we’re all realists


‘till we feel it, ‘til we feel it, ‘til we can admit we know what real is


(oh, tree of life, I think I might go blind inside and lose my sight


Just to prove that I’d be fine…)

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Before there was language, there was sound. An endless stream of noise that crashed and bubbled and whispered and sang to us every night before we went to sleep. Without language, our thoughts had no structure- all we could do was hear this cacophony of noise, earthy music, and revel in the sonic miasma that crept along in our minds. With no way to think about what we heard, we listened intently to what the world had to sing. The noise made us happy, the noise made us grin.  We didn’t own a single atonal blip of it and didn’t see the need to. We lived in a dream, we looked at each other, and in the sonic miasma we listened.


It must have started with nouns. It must have, because in addition to hearing we also could see- and the moment we made the connection between something in that wild, unstructured sonic miasma and a something in front of our eyes was the moment we lost everything. “Fish,” we said. And the fish lost all of its quality as slipperybrightshiningslickbubblewaterjumpandswish…however we had been able to arrange the feeling of looking at a fish, of hearing it splash and watching it wiggle in the water…and became something we own. In our heads the sonic miasma began to reach across and connect with the line of our sight. Like a creeping web that reached across the insanity of our preexistence, connections were made.


Verbs came next- the tense of our muscles and the pull of our tendons and the sweetfastairhighgracelovehitrun feeling of jumping became nothing more than a smack of our primal lips. “Jump,” we said, and the joy of the jump was dampened.


Syntax was another creature- it was not enough for us to own and name and give place to the things we thought. It was not enough for our sight to dictate what we could say. We made grammar and rules and made it impossible to speak against the force of what we had been taught. Our sonic miasma, crippled and cruelly sculpted by the air in our throats, died. We had no more wild thoughtlings, no more unstructured feelingthoughtlifesightmusic lulling us as we tramped around the burning planet.


 


Kind of. There are THINGS in the world that are too good for language. There are feelings and wonders that we could never try to take with our teeth and our tongues. The last semblance of our sonic miasma is there, stirring and reaching out in the moment we see something so beautiful our brains almost short out in wonder, the second we feel a despair so deep and so dark that it presses like a force inside our chest, in the long lingering hours we spend with our lovers and see the stars plotted, aligned against the liquid shine of their eyes.


That’s when we go back to those green sylvan jungles of thoughtlessness- it’s then that the world we have built around us falls to pieces and we stop seeing fish or flowers or minutes and hours…


 


We lost that world when first we spoke. But sometimes, and only sometimes, we can rediscover it.

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Occupy sounds like a filthy word. It’s half-hiccup, half-oath, leaking history from its double-c cuts and contusions. Heaping, loaded with the weight of iron chains and bullet shells; Occupy only means something special to those select few who can hear it and hear, at the same time, victory.


But when everyone else hears “occupy,” they hear the boots of a GI or the humble edict of an emperor defeated. They see twin clouds on the horizon.


They see the ships arriving, hear bullets firing, feel their gods pulled down from the sky, replaced by one whose only virtue was to die.


They feel the stones on their feet and the salt on the grass from the tears of the hundreds that stretch out in front of them like a line scratched out on a map, pushing through the seasons and dropping dead like buffalo, flies and all.


Some people hear Occupy and think of taking space. Of winning it back. Some people hear Occupy and think of losing ground. La Malinche. Bloody Jackson. Giving up.






Fredwatford-1411949
Occupy?
seldelaterre Released ago
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I started out thinking of all the depressing places a Gloam could spend its time and ended up making this plucky little activist. I'd like to continue her story, but this is all we have for now. I picture her as a little shabby and glamorous, kind of like a sad approximation of a movie's leading lady. Long cigarette holder, cruddy looking fur stole, all in black and not knowing exactly what she's copying and why.




Flick was a picture Gloam. Pictures were her specialty. Humans could be so inconsiderate sometimes, arriving late to the films that showed at the Cineplex on Friday nights. They stooped and shuffled in front of the screen to avoid blocking other humans’ views but very often ended up casting a shadow-self up against the action. Flick made her leap to the human world at the start of the films to slide haltingly across the screen (sometimes losing a little bit of her shadowmass to tumbling pieces of popcorn) and stayed as long as she could, posing miserably against the wall in the back of the theater to flicker and out of existence as the screen darkened and brightened with the projector’s light. It was a job only a Gloam could do and many of her gloamy brothers and sisters detested it (Inconsistent! Exhausting! Irritating!) but Flick preferred it to being cast outside on the street where a shadow could be dragged discourteously over just about anything.


 


Flick was a picture Gloam who loved the pictures. Her favorite films were the romances set in places like Italee and the South of Frans, where the image of the sun burned bright on the screen to illuminate the dealings of the day, but all of the interesting stuff happened at night by the light of the always full moon. Human women and their elegant, sweeping shadows who mimicked every aspect of her perfectly coiffed hair and clingy gowns…Dashing heroes with broad shadowy shoulders that made even their Gloam look bold and brawny…in Flick’s opinion they made it worth the hard work of blinking back and forth, back and forth for hours on end.


 


When the lights in the theater went out and the humans went home, she bid goodbye to the little red-tinted Gloam boy who kept vigil by the E-X-I-T sign and spent the daylight hours telling her friends about the stories she had witnessed on the screens. Of course, she usually only ended up being present for half of the plot and often fumbled over the names of the characters but she had gotten quite good at filling in the blanks with stories of her own invention.


 


One night, the Cineplex hosted an educational series of films about the solar system. Knowing that most of the scenes would be dark, Flick wasn’t wont to stay for long, but before she could blink back into Umbra she heard the narrator say something that changed everything Flick had ever been taught about shadows.


 


“The moon has no light of its own, but reflects the light of the sun down to earth from its pockmarked surface”


 


 The light from the moon was the same as the light from the sun. There was no difference, only distance. Completely enraptured by the idea, she stayed for the whole film and learned about the stars (made of gas like tiny suns!) and the planets (something a Midlight would never see!). A whole new world, and a new Umbra seemed possible to her.


 


When the film was over Flick rushed back to Umbra to tell her friends about what she had learned, calling out to any Gloam that would listen that they were born of the sun just like everyone else, that the light was the same and that nothing was keeping them from insisting on Solar status!


 


But of course they all thought she was simply telling stories. After all, she was only a picture Gloam.

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Fredwatford-1411949
Flick, the Picture Gloam
seldelaterre Released ago
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I know the Gloam are misunderstood and not evil, but I feel like their outsider status would lend itself to a few colorful misconceptions about their shadowy status on the edge of society...



When the moon comes out and the sun goes home
Out of the Shadowland rise the Gloam
Drawn to you from whence they roam
Out of the Shadowland rise the Gloam…


When midnight falls and you’re out at night
Cast behind you, out of sight
Barely there and awfully slight
Not worth much without the light…


First you hear a noise behind
Soft and scratching, ill-defined
Now you’re frightened and resigned
Turn around- what do you find?


Gloam are with you all around!
Shadows from the Otherground!
Looking back, they all surround
And your heart begins to pound…


No, your eyes do not deceive you
Stark and ghastly, they won’t leave you.
Only darkness can bereave you
To their world they will retrieve you….


Fight against this shadowy grave
Lest you be their shadowy slave!
It’s your casting power they crave
(But only if you misbehave)


When the moon comes out and the sun goes home
Out of the Shadowland, join the Gloam
Drawn anew from whence you roam
Out of the Shadowland, join the Gloam…

Fredwatford-1411949

I love the idea of doing a cover collab! This one of my favorite hitrecord songs and I wanted to give it a kind of folksy, singer-songwriter treatment. I also transcribed the lyrics by ear, not realizing that sparrow did them in the original record so I got a few of them wrong. Oopsie. 

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I am my own favorite thing.
And only I am allowed to say that.
This pleases me.


I’m standing in front of the mirror, I’m taking a picture, I’m pursing my lips and fixing my tits and creating a masterpiece via this mistress. I’m lifting my wrist to my lips and I kiss it- I am a revolution, and revolution is my favorite thing.


(My skin is my favorite thing because it took a diaspora to mix it correctly. I can’t burn in the sun but I will say this once:  I am not the way you like your coffee; I am not your favorite treat. I am not chocolate mocha caramel or anything you can eat. I am my favorite thing.)


Who wants to look at me? Who wants to see my face? Who wants to use my body, fetishize my race and talk the skin down from my bones until I break and become stones? Who thinks I’m less than a person, who wants a trophy wife? Who wants to win or lose me like a carnival prize? Who wants to objectify me? Try me. 
Really, I would like to see you try. I will blind you with the diamonds that I hide inside black eyes and my sharp tongue will cut you from inside this time. 


I ain’t no thing, girl. I’m doing my thing.
I am every-thing
Can do any-thing
Starting with no-thing to make it into some-thing
I’m taking off my clothing, bathing, it’s soothing,
I’m breathing and smoothing down my edges for the benefit of the Queen with no King-
I am my favorite thing.

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I am my own favorite thing.
And only I am allowed to say that.
This pleases me.


I’m standing in front of the mirror, I’m taking a picture, I’m pursing my lips and fixing my tits and creating a masterpiece via this mistress. I’m lifting my wrist to my lips and I kiss it- I am a revolution, and revolution is my favorite thing.


(My skin is my favorite thing because it took a diaspora to mix it correctly. I can’t burn in the sun but I will say this once:  I am not the way you like your coffee; I am not your favorite treat. I am not chocolate mocha caramel or anything you can eat. I am my favorite thing.)


Who wants to look at me? Who wants to see my face? Who wants to use my body, fetishize my race and talk the skin down from my bones until I break and become stones? Who thinks I’m less than a person, who wants a trophy wife? Who wants to win or lose me like a carnival prize? Who wants to objectify me? Try me. 
Really, I would like to see you try. I will blind you with the diamonds that I hide inside black eyes and my sharp tongue will cut you from inside this time. 


I ain’t no thing, girl. I’m doing my thing.
I am every-thing
Can do any-thing
Starting with no-thing to make it into some-thing
I’m taking off my clothing, bathing, it’s soothing,
I’m breathing and smoothing down my edges for the benefit of the Queen with no King-
I am my favorite thing.

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