My first moment of transcendence

The Start of My Life in Music

Child in the backseat, ’bout four or five years
Hank’s voice on the radio

             – Lucinda Williams, “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”

From the beginning, I wanted to make music. The first moment of transcendence I recall in this lifetime happened in the back seat of a 1972 Chevy Vega. We were driving from somewhere far away back to the trailer where we lived in southern Indiana.

I was four or five years old, curled up beneath a blanket in the back seat.

As the black sky rolled by outside the window, I was falling into slumber, lulled by the sound of the wind outside the car and the hum of the tires beneath me. And then.

My stepdad tuned the radio to a Christian gospel radio station. The Chuck Wagon Gang was the group. I heard those ladies singing their hearts out and I could see their harmonies like intertwining filaments of light. Dancing in my mind’s eye like angels. Or like how stars would sound if I could hear them.

I was electrified. I was enthralled. I was enraptured. I knew right then that this was what I needed.

A couple years later, we moved to a bigger town in Indiana. My parents got more and more fundamentalist in their Christianity. And more and more distant in their relationship. And before long, the music had drained from our lives.

As a middle schooler I learned that secular music was “of the devil”. I couldn’t stop loving music, but my parents actively discouraged me from playing the nine-dollar guitar they’d grudgingly bought me at an estate sale. (Thinking, I’m certain, that I would give up my musical dreams once I realized how hard it was to learn to play the guitar without any encouragement or instruction.)

#thankyoupatrons

Since I started my Patreon page in 2016, I’ve posted 36 songs to my patrons. I’ve written a lot more music than I’ve posted, but these are the songs I felt were ‘finished enough’ to share with the people who care enough about what I do to contribute a few bucks every month.

I’m grateful to be able to count on a little extra cash each month for groceries and guitar strings. But the encouragement and accountability built into this neo-patronage system have been the biggest blessings.

I have a wild, prolific, and wide-ranging imagination. I love making music. I love playing the guitar and singing. I love writing songs. I love recording songs. I love the music production side of things, learning how to capture the sounds I’m hearing in my head and translate them into audible frequencies.

What has traditionally been a challenge for me is finishing songs and setting them free into the world.

Just knowing that a dozen or so people dig me and what I’m doing enough to show up with $5 or $10 every month has motivated me to finish work at a rate that is semi-astounding to me.

A Dirty Dozen – DK Tracks

Some singer-songwriter acoustic stuff, a handful of ambient live-looping tracks, a few devotional numbers, a crazy kid song I produced during a visit to my daughter’s fourth grade class, and a recent Grateful Dead cover…#thankyoupatrons

“White Supremacy” and Uranus in Taurus

The Atrocities We Commit Upon Ourselves

astrology chart tree of life synagogue shooting October 27 2018 Pittsburgh PA

I struggled to unlock this chart.

Obviously, there’s the Grand Cross: Sun and retrograde Venus in Scorpio opposition Uranus in Taurus, all square the Nodes.

There’s an eerie similarity between this chart and the 9-11 chart. The 8th House cusp in this chart is one degree from the Moon’s placement in the 9-11 chart. And both charts have Mercury (the Messenger) right above the Ascendant in the 12th House of karma and self-undoing.

But why, specifically, anti-semitism? I went through a gamut of feelings this week as I thought about this event and how it echoes the rise of Hitler amid a wave of anti-semitism and “white supremacy” in the 1930s – the last time Uranus was in Taurus.

I felt angry. I felt despair – how could this be happening again? I felt contempt and the desire to punish the lowlifes who parade their violence and hate under the banner of white supremacy. Continue reading

“Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People”

It’s Father’s Day. It bugs me that I have to even think about my kids doing “Code Red” drills at school, preparing for the day a shooter might walk in and take out his anger on a bunch of innocent children. After the Parkland shooting in February, I started thinking about all of the pro-gun slogans I heard on endless repeat growing up. This little ode to America’s love affair with guns is what came out.

I originally performed this version of the piece on Facebook Live on Sunday, June 3. This video is a couple minutes shorter with added infographics showing how our society’s obsession with “the right to bear arms” affects women, children and black people.

And, for the record, as a Galactic citizen with an Earth visa, I am not a Democrat. And I’m certainly not a Republican. But I would love to hear one right-wing nut job try to convince me that it was the intent of the authors of the Second Amendment to protect the rights of 20-year-old white boys with daddy issues and a headful of Zoloft or Paxil to buy semi-automatic rifles at Walmart or the traveling gun fair. These weapons were developed to enable soldiers to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.

Sell the kid a top-loading musket – I’m OK with that, see?

The Heart Is the Center of the Universe

Live Looping Improv – Show Opener

I’ve been working on the opening number for one-man show. I happened to record this practice session and was psyched to listen on my earbuds and find a lot of tasty ear candy moments!


If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, please consider supporting me making podcasts, astrology posts, performance art, music, and ultimately a live (in person) immersive trance experience. It’s easy, it’s open-ended, it’s fun and it helps me make more cool experiences to share with you. Click on the picture to check out my Patreon page:

Support DK Brainard on Patreon

 

Ignition -> Mr. Fantasy (Live Show Practice)

Live Looping Guitar Improv into Mr. Fantasy (Traffic Cover)

Hey, check it out. I was rockin’ last night!

If you want to skip to the song proper, it starts around 3:38. But I think the intro is fuckin’ cool, too, so I would just dedicate 13 minutes of your life at some point to watching the whole thing and letting the music wash over you like a warm waterfall of ionized water in a tropical paradise.

Here’s the idea:

1. I’m improvising a soundscape (“Ignition”) while workshop participants are drawing a mandala or designing their heroine/shadow masks or getting comfy on their yoga mats after a break…and then we go into the song.

2. So if you can watch it as if you’re not actually sitting on a chair in a row with other people sitting on chairs, but you’re already in a tranced-out, temporary autonomous zone environment, getting in touch with your inner transformational genius through various cool and fun activities, you’ll get the flavor.

3. I actually did this live Saturday night as a Facebook Live stream. Privacy turned out to be set to ‘Only Me’…I’m still working out the technical details to get the volume levels right, etc. But I wasn’t sure if it was “live” live or private until I finished. So I was playing my ass off, just in case!

4. I’m excited about how good most of it sounds. And a little bummed the vocals managed to be both too low in the mix and distorting at the same time. I think that’s a combination of suboptimal monitoring conditions (using earbuds and not being able to crank my monitors cuz I’m doing it at night while my little boy is asleep upstairs) and having to sing quietly.

But I’ll get that figured out.

Slowly but surely, in a very Saturn-like way, I’m putting it all together!

Thanks a million to my Patrons for supporting me and giving me feedback as I work out the kinks in the hose.

Live performance of planetary mantra to Mercury

Mercury Stations Direct Conjunct the Great Attractor – December 22, 2017

Watch me create a live performance of planetary mantra to Mercury starting at the moment he stations direct. Also, the down-low on how to work with the Trickster/messenger as he sweeps back over the Great Attractor and Galactic Center between now and Jan. 13. Plus Venus conjunct the Galactic Center and more.

Update 12/24/2017: If you’d like to listen to a higher-fidelity version of the song without the squeaks and pops in the video, I edited the original audio file in Ableton Live and uploaded it to Sound Cloud. (If you enjoy it, please click on theLike buttonbutton!)

“Skyscraper” live @ Freddy’s – Nov. 21, 2017

[Video] Stand & Deliver live in Detroit

Happy Thanksgiving! I’ve got so much to be thankful for this year. Not least being able to rock out on stage with Lupo (guitar) and Frank (bass) for the first time since 2003. We’ve played a lot, written a lot of new songs, and rehearsed in the meantime. But with kids, work, and life….plus trying to find a drummer who won’t spontaneously combust*…it’s been a much longer journey than expected.

*(We had to get two – the brothers Farkas – just in case.)

Under the Pressure You Learn to Have a Life

Aries Full Moon Playlist

See my post on the Aries Full Moon and what’s going down in the world.

Heading for the Top Now (Mashup)

We should be heading for the top now
We’ve had a hundred thousand years
Under the pressure is where we are
Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
I hope you get everything you need
Working for the clampdown
In the land of the brave and the home of the free
Working for the clampdown  Continue reading

Energize Your Intentions With These Brainwave & Hypnosis MP3s

New Moon, New Energy

You’ve probably read a million astrology forecasts stating that “the New Moon is the perfect time to set your intentions for what you want to attract into your life.” I used to believe that, too. But as I’ve become more tuned in to the rhythms of the lunar cycle, I’ve found it’s not usually true for me.

Now I try to use the low energy days leading up to the exact moment of the New Moon to go within and discover which patterns or people or activities have run their course: What do I want or need to let go from my life?

I’ve found that the week directly after the New Moon is actually more propitious for intention-setting and visualization of what I want to create or attract into my life.

I spent so many years with headphones on, either listening to or creating hypnosis and brainwave entrainment MP3s, I think I needed to take a break! But people have been asking me to make these available again. So I’ve added two more brainwave entrainment MP3s and a dual-hypnosis MP3 to my audio meditation store page.

Manifesting & Intention-Setting Audio Downloads

I’ve continued to listen to Dolphins of Sirius B down through the years. The music and sounds for this track were given to me by my Star Tribe; I can still remember the feeling of sitting in front of the keyboard and trying to recreate the sounds I was hearing. And it seems especially appropriate to re-release now, in light of my recent Venus experience.

But I hadn’t listened to Theta Fishing Trip. I kept thinking I should do, because so many people told me it was their favorite track out of all the brainwave entrainment audios I created. But you know how it is listening to your own voice.

Well, last week I  went back and listened to it. And it kind of blew me away. I forgot that I had learned how to hypnotize people into feeling that relaxed.

If you don’t already own these and you’re ready to feel amazingly relaxed while programming your subconscious to bring you more of the life you want, check ’em out.