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WELCOME TO LEVEL 3 OF THE MINESHAFT RABBIT HOLE !

Greetings! 
You made it to Level 3! 
You are now 40 feet underground.  Are you feeling how heavy the air is? The feeling of claustrophobia, knowing that even the safest tunnel could collapse at any moment? How dependent you are on the lantern you hold?  Good.  You are ready for Level 3.

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YOU DON'T SEE ME ( JIMMY CRACK CORN)

This song knocked on my studio door one day, let itself in, opened a beer (I didn't know I had any), plopped onto my couch, shoved its hand under its belt and demanded I play old Bela Lugosi movies. It dictated its structure, arrangement and chorus lyrics.  Then it told me to use the old American folk song "Jimmy Crack Corn" for the verse lyrics.  I said "what?"

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Where do you hide when the stalker has your cell phone number? I wanted a song that sounded like it would never end, to capture that unending dread you feel from being hunted (or is it your imagination taking you hostage?) Minutes stretch into hours when you become the prey. In the desert, you have more room with fewer places to hide. Your senses focus. Daily issues fall away as your lizard brain takes the wheel. Your enteric nervous system tugs at your mind and you are one with this dangerous moment. Can you trust your gut? And what if YOU were the villain, suddenly being hunted by the one you wronged? Does the listener feel joy from this, as if justice is being served? 

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Does this make the gloating observer of justified revenge just as sadistic? I toyed with the idea of making this song 20 minutes long to test this theory, to take whatever voyeuristic pleasure away from the listener after the first few minutes. The problem with that idea is that listener had the power to turn the song off.  But what if you couldn't?

There are many outtakes from the "You Don't See Me" video, including a walkthrough of a haunted building, Kilroy inhabiting an abandoned house and the Cowboy being hung by his shoulders to rot in the sun.  Eeeek!

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THE INTERSTATE

This song was challenging. It started in the early days of the "Stories and Songs" album and dragged me through 4 completely different versions to finally arrive fresh and sassy. It has a scratchy fiddle, mouth harp, didgeridoo, guitar feedback, a country "railroad" snare and other things (its a real ghoulash of ingredients...see what I did there? )

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Sometimes I create a video in my head and then try to write a song for it. I loved the concept of someone driving on train tracks to escape the police, but I couldn’t get it right. I was in the middle of writing a short story in five segments for the Mineshaft Rabbit Hole called “Frannie” to illustrate the songs of “Mojave,” using them as touchstones to bring them to life.  Unfortunately, it smelled funny and we killed it before it could fully stink. Here is an excerpt that would have been in Level 3:  
“He went over his options for escape.  No one would care that this was an accident; this looked like murder. There were only two roads out of town and those roads could be viewed for miles in either direction. So he chose the railroad tracks. He was desperate. He quickly reached the tracks, which were obscured by long, decorative rows of tall bushes and Eldarica pines for miles on either side, giving the several neighborhoods that dotted the area a sense of privacy from the trains and offered him cover to escape. The car fit loosely on the tracks; his axles would intermittently hit the rails.  He drove fast and without his normal confidence. His axles screeched and scraped their way through the neighborhood, into the next one and onward, hearing sirens in the distance but none close enough to know where he was. He sped through every intersection that crossed the train tracks.” I’ll save the end for the song itself.

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Outtakes for "The Interstate" show just how stupid I can be. We tried filming moving car scenes in our driveway, while I spastically jittered around in the driver's seat to look like I was driving on railroad tracks. I thought we could remove OUR HOUSE from the background. Nope. Then I even tried to save those takes in an early video edit by superimposing it over the hands (also shot in our driveway) and the eventual, actual railroad tracks.  Nope.  The hands shot in this reel reveals for the first time that those hands are Kilroy's; you can't see his face through the grime on the windshield that played an important part of the video.  Of course, dumb guy at work that I am, I forgot to take off my wedding ring for the shot.  The last clip is from a tourist train ride we took in Calico. We jumped into the train before anyone else and ran to the back of the caboose to get the seats next to the back window so we could film the rails as we rolled over them.  The idea was to then run the video in reverse so it looked like The Cowboy was driving on the train track.  Fail!  I ended up clipping a few seconds of the footage and editing it into several loops, lining up those loops and voila!  Pseudo train track mayhem. 

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