Re-Uploading "Latchkey Kid" for NPR's TINY DESK CONCERT SERIES

Hey Everyone,

So, quickly: I had to resubmit my video for the Tiny Desk Concert Series because I upload it a few days before the March 12th start date, and they said that would disqualify the video.  

At any rate, if you could give the video some love, that would be greatly appreciated.  I had 31 likes on the last upload and a lot of comments and that was really neat, but I lost all that positivity because I have re-upload the video.  Here is what NPR wrote me today.  It was very nice of them to do this, and to not just disqualify the video I submitted:

Hi there,

My name is Marissa, and I work on the Tiny Desk Contest. I wanted to get in touch about a small problem we had with your Tiny Desk Contest entry.

While your video did follow most of our Official Rules – being under 10 minutes, showing an original song, featuring a desk (thanks!) – it looks like it didn’t meet one requirement for eligibility: being uploaded to YouTube after March 12, 2019.

The reason we have this “After March 12” rule is to make sure that people are sending us videos that are made specifically for this Contest – to ensure that, we check that videos were uploaded after we announced this year’s Contest.

However, I know that we hinted at the Contest coming back for 2019 a couple times on our site, in our newsletter and on social media over the past few months – and I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt and imagine that you filmed and uploaded your video in anticipation of the official announcement. If that’s the case, and you’d still like your video to be considered for the 2019 Contest, please consider re-uploading your video and resubmitting. Otherwise, we’ll have to consider your entry ineligible. Please note that we don’t usually allow this kind of resubmission – but this feels like a special situation.

Let me know if you have any questions or any problems with submitting.

Best, Marissa & the Tiny Desk Contest team

At any rate, that link above is for the brand new upload I just did.  I would be honored to have you show it some love if you have the inclination of the time!  It would mean a lot to me. 

Hope you all are having a great day!

Mike

MVPPP Foundation

Okay everyone...  in my own opinion, I think that I have a pretty brutal sense of humor.  I still do.  I just don't share it as much as I used to (it can offend)—especially in so far as it pertains to poking fun at other people.  

I have had a blog for several years of my life, and this was a blog that I posted while I was out on my second or third tour up the west coast.  I think at some point, I erased it from my blog because I thought that it was in poor taste—what I did below.  What can I say?  I like to laugh, and laughed so fucking hard when I wrote this.  Really hard.  I'm a horrible person.  Right?

You tell me.  Let's discuss.

If you don't get the gist of the joke below, I too enjoy smoking weed (I just made myself laugh).  I just don't do it that often.  I ain't judgin' no one.  Marijuana is so much fun—and in all seriousness, my best friend nearly tore his arm off in a motorcycle accident, and now has a fully functional arm because of marijuana (he used no opiates during his very painful recovery).  Don't believe me?  Ask him all about it.  However, I digress (I'm just saying I believe in weed).

Hi Everyone,

I would like to introduce you to an acquaintance of mine from San Francisco, California.  This is Steve:

CIMG1166-2.JPG

Steve is a “Pot-less Pothead”.  While walking the streets of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, you might run across SEVERAL, if not a DOZEN of these deprived and destitute folk just like Steve, starving for their next bong rip.  The sadness that pervades from his story is all too grim; Steve simply doesn’t have the funds to pack another bowl.  His THC starvation could inevitably lead to a day of sobriety or perhaps, even worse, to a local book store for a cup of coffee or a good read in order to pass his time.

However, you can help!  Make a small donation to the Mike Vitale Pot for Pot-less Potheads Foundation (MVPPP Foundation).

The MVPPP Foundation has already helped several people just like Steve to maintain their daily habits in order to continue their useless and meaningless existence in the face of mankind!  A few dollars a day can help people just like Steve to successfully blind fold themselves with a small piece of dental floss, play video games, eat vast amounts of junk food, watch infomercials, and laugh at jokes that really aren’t that funny or clever, all while enjoying their Scoobie Snacks.  With your small charitable donation, we can keep people just like Steve as high as a kite with absolutely no clue what to do with their lives!

Charitable donations can be made with, well—weed. Please make all donations payable to:

The Mike Vitale Pot for Pot-less Potheads Foundation

P.O. Box 3064

Fullerton, CA 92834

Make a difference.  Join the Mike Vitale Pot for Pot-less Potheads Foundation today!  End the hunger.

~ Mike

PS

Greetings from San Francisco - More blogs from the road to come so stay tuned!

Running Away From Home

I think I wrote this song in 2015 or so. It’s a story about running away from home in second grade because I wanted to be a werewolf after watching Teen Wolf starring Michael J Fox. I invited my friend Brandon Kite to join me at 4am in the morning. We made it all the way to the outskirts of Visalia before we were picked up a by a Police officer. I was trying to head to Sequoia National Park because I was under the impression there were wolves there, and if I were to drink the water from a wolves’ footprint, it would turn me into a werewolf (that was info from a Scholastic Magazine).

For the record, I tried drinking the water from a dog’s footprint, first: didn’t work. At any rate, this was my Christmas gift to my mom and dad, because I never bothered explaining this story to them, when I was brought back home by the police. Not their fault. Some kids want red fire trucks. I wanted to be a werewolf (or an astronaut... or a park ranger); what can I say? This is available to watch in my IGTV and you can find on Youtube as well. There is a link in my profile for the song with my friends Frank, Tom, and Brad playing on it. I used this song to raise a little bit of money for the Michael J Fox Parkinson’s research foundation.

Running Away From Home 
Words and Music: Mike Vitale 

watching the movie Teen Wolf put the notion in my head 
that being human's boring and I'd rather be a werewolf instead 
but knowing getting bit by one could be a difficult proposition 
I reckoned that the wilderness would improve this disposition 

so we lit out at dawn for the mountains in the distance 
my best friend Brandon along in tow no doubt from my insistence 
1985 was the year of our independence 
two empty seats in a second grade class while the teachers calling attendance 

but there's no need to worry 
I've got everything I need 
a sandwich and a blanket 
and the will to succeed 
I'm heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home 

in order to ensure a proper werewolf transformation 
my days before departure were spent researching Scholastic publication 
and according to my sources folklore lent it several options 
all of which I applied myself to their immediate adoption 

one of which involved drinking water from a werewolf footprint 
but since that wasn't handy I felt a dog's would be sufficient 
and when the full-moon changing never came I was left with one volition 
to pursue a pack of wolves to bring my dreams into fruition 

but there's no need to worry 
I've got everything I need 
I would have asked for your approval 
but I knew you'd never agree 
I'm heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home 

and getting to the foothills would be a days worth of travel 
but getting spotted by adults would make my well-laid plans unravel 
and knowing we wouldn't make it far walking streets in broad daylight
we walked the inner parts of canals to keep us out of sight 

the sun was near to setting and my plan was sitting pretty 
Brandon and I had one street left to reach the outskirts of the city 
yet one small problem remained and left Brandon and I debating 
the portal that would lead us beneath the street was covered by metal grating 

but there's no need to worry 
we've got everything we need 
we can climb this chainlink fence 
and then you and I will be home free 
we're heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home 

and just as we reached the top of the fence a squad car changed the setting 
the officer rolled down his window and asked where we were heading 
we pointed towards the mountains and he got a twinkle in his eye 
he said, "man, that's a long ways away boys, hop in, I'll give you a ride." 

but there's no need to worry 
I've got everything I need 
a sandwich and a blanket 
and the will to succeed 
I'm heading towards the hills 
where all the lone wolves roam 
so long momma, I'm running away from home

Latchkey Kid (Live at Studio 333) PREVIEW and RELEASE SHOW TOMORROW!

I’m very excited to be releasing a new live video next week on all my social media: Youtube, Facebook, and so forth. Here is a sample of it. It’s a song off of my self titled EP from 2014, called “Latchkey Kid.” We tracked this song live at Studio 333 in Cerritos, CA on January 17th 2019. It features Frank Reina on drums, Tom Bremer on guitar, and Paul Jones on bass. We are going to be celebrating the release of this video tomorrow night (FEB 27th 2019) in Long Beach at The Wine Bar on Ocean Ave. if you feel like coming out to support; music starts at 7pm. There is no cover; it’s a free show. I’m honored to have my friends Alyssandra Nighswonger, Honest Horse and Taylor Crawford joining me to share their beautiful music. We would be stoked to have you there, and I would adore the opportunity to see some friends in the area if it’s in the cards. Thank you to Monika Lightstone for making this video with me. You are amazing and I am thankful to have you as a friend. Thanks to Ryan Lipman for the lovely mix.

Upcoming February Shows in Southern California

Lot1Cafe.png

I do graphic design—very poorly. Here are two flyers I made, advertising two shows I am playing this month.

This one is for a show in Los Angeles next week on Thursday February 21st 2019 on the western hemisphere of Earth.

This is the part of this post where I continue to regurgitate information off of this flyer.

Show starts at 8pm. No cover.

Lot 1 Cafe

1533 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles CA

Playing some muzak I wrote with Marcus Von Rittberg and Daniel Blake. Coincidentally, they will be doing the exact same thing

thewinebarFeb27th2019.jpg

And then there’s this show on Wednesday February 27th 2019. This one I am playing with a band. A really great band. Frank Reina on drums. Tom Bremer on guitar. Paul Jones on bass.

It’s going to be in Long Beach, which just so happens to be in the same hemisphere as Los Angeles, on planet Earth.

We’ll be playing at The Wine Bar. It’s a bar. They serve wine there. They also host a lot of original music. It’s a great hang. You should swing by if you feel obliged to. No cover.

I’ll be joined by Honest Horse, Alyssandra Nighswonger, and Taylor Crawford, who are all so lovely and so talented, and I’m very thankful to have them playing.

We would be stoked to have you. Music starts at 7pm. The band and I go on at 9pm.

Honesty

Honesty: now that is an interesting subject. I have a line in a song I wrote that says this: "Truth be told, everyone tells a lie—and honesty can be delicately laid"—and I do believe that.

two-colleagues-playing-table-tennis-in-office-break-room-673117017-592611993df78cbe7e959740.jpg

Whether I like it or not, I am an extremely honest person when it comes to how I display my feelings. I had a girlfriend once who told me that I wear my emotions on my sleeve—and I think she's right; I don't hide my feelings well. However, I have learned over the years that people respond to honesty in a variety of ways, most of which, are not always favorable. It's like ping pong. Let me explain.

I've spent a fair amount of time volleying honesty in a game of table tennis with friends, family, and acquaintances. I would try lobbing the ball over the net in order to give them the opportunity to play nicely as well, only to be returned with a hit to the chest from the thrust of a one thousand pound gorilla.

I've also had people key into my extension of goodwill, and return the ball with an equal amount of intensity in order to keep the conversation moving. There have been times when I have been the show-off, serving like an Olympic competitor, only to be remember afterwards that the person on the other side of the table is a little boy or girl who is barely learning to hold the mallet (let us not be mistaken though, little ones can still thrust a mean serve with little to no effort exerted).

And on and on and on I go through the various permutations of opportunities, successes, and losses at the hands of how either I or the other person at the end of the net, start the game.

Most often, I push the ping pong table against the wall and try to play. Regardless of how hard I serve, or how softly I nudge the ball forward to start the game, it rarely makes it back over the net, because invariably, I am keeping my honesty to myself—and there is no forward momentum to life and learning under those circumstances.

However, what I have had a great deal of success with is removing the net, folding the ping pong table in half to create a 90 degree angle, and playing at whatever intensity I feel fit: after all, being honest with yourself makes all the difference in the world.

The Incredible Shrinking Brain (Acoustic)

This song has been proven popular amongst strangers. Maybe you’ll like it? Are you a stranger? I don’t want your candy. No, I’m not going to hop in your car with you. This is called The Incredible Shrinking Brain:

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
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Listen to Me Here:
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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BRAIN
words and music by Mike Vitale

I feel like a mime with a painted on sad face touching an invisible wall
And it’s a crime I can’t see this behind my shit talk fueled by jealousy and alcohol
Sure, I’m overly critical, but by now I should know better
Maybe I’m just too hard on myself and it doesn't really matter

The longer I live the less I know for sure
When I was a younger man my certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain
But I’m the man with the incredible shrinking brain

Do you feel like an actor dressed up in black face? 
We’re really just canaries in a coal mine
Carried out the shaft like a suitcase, soot trace, smeared across our face and brow
War on race, preference, sex, and creed are indelible 
and noxious as the fumes
And right before we lose our consciousness 
collective conscience looms

The longer we live the less we know for sure
When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain
But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Create the fertile furrows from a farmer’s plough
Two fathoms deep shouted across the bow
"Anger and hatred are caustic to the vessel in which its stored,
Far more than to anything on which its poured."

The longer we live the less we know for sure
When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations we could conjure up in vain
But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Fool For You (Live at Hotel Cafe)

Here is me performing a song I wrote live at Hotel Cafe in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. My friend Monika Lightstone found this on her hard drive the other day, and shared—I thought I would follow suit.

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
Facebook  http://facebook.com/mikevitalemusic
Instagram  http://instagram.com/mikevitalemusic

Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WvkxAen388KiPMSxh6joB…
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369
Purchase Music:
Bandcamp:  https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

FOOL FOR YOU

words and music by Mike Vitale

the touch of your skin against mine 
was flawless and supine 
as I read your story in braille 

my resolve was as frail 
as that tall tale that lingered from my tongue 
now I'm all twisted up 
like a towel that's been wrung 

maybe it's the conversation we had in bed 
maybe i just want to see your eyes roll back in your head 
maybe you're a drag from a stranger's cigarette 
but once i've got you on my lips 
you're hard to forget 

and now that you've got me where you want 
you're moving from hot to cool 
and now that you've got me where you want 
woman, i'm a fool for you 

feeling your chest heave 
as you're lying there asleep 
now I'm bating every breath 
so that the moment isn't cheap 

are you resolved to entail 
a large sail to guide me away 
on some nautical course 
that perhaps I'd rather stay 

maybe you're just playing hard to get 
or perhaps you just want me to forget 
maybe I'm a marionette on strings 
trying to measure your depth beyond anatomy 

and now that you've got me where you want 
you're moving from hot to cool 
and now that you've got me where you want 
woman, i'm a fool for you 

and now that you've got me where you want 
you're moving from hot to cool 
and now that you've got me where you want 
woman, i'm a fool for you

Fred Smoot

In all honesty, today has been a bit of a rough day for me. I just got done playing a memorial service for this man.

Fred Smoot

Fred Smoot

His name is Fred Smoot.

He was a standup comedian and a photographer. He was part of the associated press that took many of the photos you may have seen regarding Vietnam, specifically the Tet Offensive.

However, Fred would have preferred to have been remembered as a standup comedian—and that he was. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson seven times; this was a drop in the bucket compared to all the other notable appearances he made as an entertainer on numerour late night and daytime television programs in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He shared the stage with many, including: Johnny Carson, Neil Diamond, Merv Griffin, Steve Allen, The Everly Brothers, Count Basie, Paul McCartney's WINGS, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Olivia Newton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Gordon Lightfoot, 5th Dimension, Count Basie and his Band, Mamas & the Papas, Mac Davis, Bobby Darin, and Trini Lopez.

I listened to all of his friends recounting stories regarding his life and all the joy and laughter he brought to them; it was palpable—if not contagious. We can all be so lucky, to be remembered so fondly, and to be the one bringing the joy and smiles to others.

One of his friends stated that there is a star in the sky that she chose for him. She has named the star after him. Ironically, that star is in the Canis Minor Constellation (this was not a conscious decision). It’s a small constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere, and it’s name means the lesser dog, or the more specific title, the underdog.

Fred died as a rich and wealthy man. While he was not someone who possessed a large monetary fortune—I mean, he lived in spare bedrooms from the kindness of others, he ate the food that friends provided to him, and lived in his car with no possessions—he was a billionaire in terms of the friendships and laughter he brought to everyone in that room today. I could feel it, and I cried—and I have never met him in person.

Fred had dementia. Quite literally, he was a man with a shrinking brain. For those of you that may wonder, yes, “The Incredible Shrinking Brain” was partially inspired by Fred—however he deserves his own song—I’m working on it.

In the meanwhile, Fred, this poem is for you. It is by one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost:

Canis Major

The great Overdog 
That heavenly beast 
With a star in one eye 
Gives a leap in the east. 

He dances upright 
All the way to the west 
And never once drops 
On his forefeet to rest. 

I'm a poor underdog, 
But to-night I will bark 
With the great Overdog 
That romps through the dark.

You brought everyone in your life so much joy and laughter, Fred—and to me, you brought tears, and for this, I thank you. God bless you. You are loved.

No Vacancy (Live at Monika Lightstone Studios)

Here is the second of a series of videos made with the sole purpose of people watching them (go figure). We shall call this series, “Capture and Release.” Monika and I are big game hunters, who will never pull the trigger, except when it comes to releasing music.

This is a song I wrote called No Vacancy. If you happen to like this song, you can listen to the full band arrangement on your favorite streaming service of choice, by clicking this right heya: http://smarturl.it/tx0xoc

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
Facebook  http://facebook.com/mikevitalemusic
Instagram  http://instagram.com/mikevitalemusic

Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WvkxAen388KiPMSxh6joB…
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369
Purchase Music:
Bandcamp:  https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

NO VACANCY

words and music by me

Dancing with a lover on a dead-end street 
Stepping on toes with my two left feet 
I fell asleep under a vacancy sign 
The no was burned out but then she changed the lights 

A foggy walk alone on a new moon night 
She disappeared altogether when I closed my eyes 
The street lights flicker on and off, on and off, on and off like her emotion 
Until I find I'm off the deep end of an abstract notion 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry 

The quick hide hid under a broken nail 
The Essex split in two over an angry whale 
There were rumors of cannibals living on the island nearby 
So the survivors took the opposite course and ate each other when the truth was in short supply 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry 

Parallel lines in the wilderness 
Train tracks broken by a small recess 
And as the casualties are listed by a talking head 
She limits the emotion behind words she read 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry 

I forgot the melody a caged bird sings 
The door's wide open but I've got clipped wings 
The seed went sour in the dying light 
So I'll sing for my supper 'til the water runs dry

Time Machine (Live at Monika Lightstone Studios)

This is a song that I wrote about how human beings are all organic time machines, whether in regards to our ever diminishing cell division as we age, our ability to reference memories and experience them again at will, or a vivid imagination that allows us to think into the future—and write songs that make reference to all my favorite science fictions, growing up. This is also about my family, and growing up in Visalia, CA. Lyrics are listed below if you like words. I like words.

Video and Audio captured and then released back into the wild by Monika Lightstone.

Audio Mix by Mike Vitale.

You can also watch the 4K version on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfr9HgtrRDc

Support and Join the Record Label:  http://bit.ly/2nigMwU
Learn More About Me Here:  http://mikevitalemusic.com
Upcoming Shows:  https://www.bandsintown.com/mikevitale/
Subscribe:  http://bit.ly/2niho5G

Connect with me online and say hi:
Twitter  http://twitter.com/mikevitalemusic
Facebook  http://facebook.com/mikevitalemusic
Instagram  http://instagram.com/mikevitalemusic

Listen to Me Here:
Soundcloud:  http://soundcloud.com/mikevitalemusic
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WvkxAen388KiPMSxh6joB…
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369
Purchase Music:
Bandcamp:  https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com
iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

TIME MACHINE 
words and music by Mike Vitale 

cogs and wheels that spin and spark 
driving alone on a highway in the dark 
steampunk brain, this lone machine 
behind my random access memory 

I've got Legos sprawled all across my floor 
My brothers and I are going to war 
force fields furnish the perfect protection 
for a space ship powered by our predilection 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch 

cogs and wheels connect with the power train 
playing with my r/c car in the rain 
I'm behind the wheel of my own creation 
an 88 mile an hour rumination 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch 

I jump like Indiana Jones down a flight of stairs 
Avoided hot lava on the kitchen chairs 
I saved the whole world from a fierce invasion 
I'm an observer in a widening age dilation 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch 

I'm a time machine 
I am senescence 
a dinosaur book 
adolescence 
A onesie sleep 
on my parents couch 
loving me to bed 
with caring slouch

Thank you to everyone supporting on Patreon. Special thanks to Fernando Gallegos and Amy Armitage.

My First Music Placement and Homelessness

Mike Vitale.jpg

Hopefully, this is something that I won’t forget. It took me 39 years, but I finally had a piece of music picked for use in either a tv show, or a movie (forgive me for not knowing which it is). It’s an independent production called “House Broken.”

From what I am told, they are in the post production side of things, but I have been paid a synchronization fee for the song, so, it’s a done deal in terms of their interest in using the tune. They are pitching it to festivals and networks as soon as they complete the project.

Naturally, my hope is that anyone who works hard on their creative project, finds success with it.

It’s a project that deals with the subject of homelessness. The main character is based off of a real life person by the name of Fred Smoot. Fred was a stand up comedian in the 70’s who found success in his career and made several appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. This was a big deal for standup comedians in the 70’s.

Later in life, Fred developed dementia and eventually became homeless, living out of his car with his dog. He became a man of few possessions. Literally, he had a trophy, his car, and his puppy.

Fred’s circumstances are far from unusual. A friend of mine and I were watching a documentary called “Lost Angels: Skid Row is My Home” that came out in 2010, regarding Skid Row and it’s homeless population. Many of the people that call downtown LA their home, have preexisting mental conditions—Manic Depression, Schizophrenia, and dementia being several of many.

“House Broken” will be a project that addresses the homeless crisis we see here in Southern California. I see it in my own neighborhood of Eagle Rock. If you are a Los Angeles or Orange County resident, I am sure you do as well.

The song that is being used is my most recent. It’s called “The Incredible Shrinking Brain.”

Here is a private link to check it out if you feel so inclined:

The Incredible Shrinking Brain

words and music by Mike Vitale

I feel like a mime with a painted on sad face touching an invisible wall

And it’s a crime I can’t see this behind my shit talk fueled by jealousy and alcohol

Sure, I’m overly critical, but by now I should know better

Maybe I’m just too hard on myself and it doesn’t really matter

The longer I live the less I know for sure

When I was a younger man my certainty was premature

There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain

But I’m the man with the incredible shrinking brain

Do you feel like an actor dressed up in black face

We’re really just canaries in a coal mine

Carried out the shaft like a suitcase, soot trace, smeared across our face and brow

The war on race, preference, sex, and creed are indelible

and noxious as the fumes

And right before we lose our consciousness collective conscience looms

The longer we live the less we know for sure

When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature

There’s all these explanations we could conjure up in vain

But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Our incredible shrinking brains

Create the fertile furrows from a farmer’s plough

“Two fathoms deep” shouted across the bow

“Anger and hatred are caustic to the vessel in which it’s stored

Far more than to anything on which its poured”

The longer we live the less we know for sure

When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature

There’s all these abstract explanations we could conjure up in vain

But we’re people with incredible shrinking brain

We’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Don't Tell Our Friends About Me

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Today is a bit of a rarity for me—in so much as I have had the whole day to myself... and I have no gig this evening—so I thought, what the hell, I'll make one more cover video for y'all.  This one is by singer/songwriter and guitarist pyrotechnician mad scientist: Blake Mills.

He's a hell of a songwriter, and a damn fine guitarist as well.  The guy can play.  You'll see what I mean if you go down the Blake Mills Youtube rabbit hole one night while eating frozen yogurt on the sofa in your pajamas at 2am.  No one's judging you. Do your thing.

I've had a marvelous day practicing this song and trying to learn it to the best of my ability.  I did get one line in the song wrong.  I'll give myself 100 lashings for this musical sin like a sad character from a Dan Brown novel, after I eat some more frozen yogurt (in reality I haven’t had frozen yogurt in months). Sad face.

Did everyone have a good Christmas?  I hope so.

I'm going to go shop for some more flannel right now, because suddenly it got really cold here in southern California.  Please excuse my brevity.  I hope this finds everyone smiling and well, eating frozen yogurt, shopping for their own flannel, going down Youtube rabbit holes, and listening to some Blake Mills.

Ta ta,

Mike

PS

Help me share this video if you like it

PSS

This video has expletives in it, so beware.

PSSS

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Empty Circle (Live From My Living Room)

Here is a live video of me performing a tune about being dumped right after Christmas.  Hey, there is never a good time to get dumped.  It might as well be after Christmas.

I am very proud of this song.  It's a piece of my life.  Perhaps you might relate to it.  Perhaps not.  It is without a doubt, one of my favorite songs that I have written.

As always, thank you so very much for making this such a special year for me.  

I am working very diligently on my social media presence at the moment.  Namely Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so if you feel like connecting on any of those formats, I would be thrilled. Links can be found at the very bottom of this message.  Also, if any of this stuff that I am posting is good, please share.  I would be honored.  Word of mouth.  On social media.  Whatever you fancy.  Sharing is the biggest and best thing you can ever do for me.

All my love,

Mike

If I Only Had a Brain - Harry Connick Jr., Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg

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I just got done taking a master class from a young Harry Connick Jr.. I’ve been working on transcribing his version of “If I Only Had a Brain” from the album 20. In my own humble opinion, it’s a masterpiece, and I cried the first time I accidentally listened to it. I was so moved by its grace, that I knew I needed to learn it and sing it.

It’s a beautiful piece of music to begin with, but Connick’s use of chord substitution is pretty cool and sophisticated—he also creates some beautiful tension in his chord voicings, using many terse intervals such as m2 and M2 in his chord inversions, which are my favorite. Lots of suspensions. I learned a lot. I learned too much. Still trying to absorb the information. Bottom line, it just sounds boss (in a very touching and emotional manner), despite all the bullshit jargon I just prattled off: that’s what I’m after. That’s what I got.

I did my own thing with it and deviated from his arrangement as I saw fit.

I recorded the vocals using an AT4033 and SM57 on the guitar amp. If you dig it, please like the video and subscribe to my Youtube Channel. The support is invaluable and deeply appreciated.

Most importantly, thank you to everyone on Patreon for helping me to make these videos