The Status Quo Has Got to Go

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

The Leopard (Sicilian Novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa)

Political systems can become rigged to accommodate those already in power. The wealthy become wealthier. Those at the lower end of the scale tend to remain there. Organized society, no matter which economic system, creates opportunity for privilege, cronyism, nepotism and undue process, mechanisms that often seek to keep things as they are—the status quo.

Fairness and justice is not the concern of the status quo. Nor is change. Those at the top wish to maintain or solidify their position. They mock change and may use tactics of fear and obfuscation to make their point.

Social mobility is not a concern of the status quo. Only a continuation of the current order.  The re-imagined past is golden.

“Too much regard for the good old days caused the downfall of Rome,” pronounced Harlow Gaylord, one of my history teachers at Hinsdale High School. This is not an easy concept to grasp at 14 years old but it remained with me until I was able to grasp it.

Those fearful of change or pleased with their status tend to back political candidates  who pledge to maintain it. Or strengthen it. Any attempt at tinkering with the order is scorned as dangerous.

Those not at the top of the system may become disgruntled. They too would like some of the man made rules to bend their way.

Sooner or later, The Status Quo has got to go.

I wrote this song about three years ago. It’s my attempt to be straightforward about this universal, ongoing battle.
UTK performs Status Quo at Fat Tone Guitars in January 0f 2012.

I’d Love To Be Rich

Wealth is aspirational. For every 1,000,000 who dream of becoming wealthy (hitting the lottery), only a tiny fraction can succeed. After all, how much room can there be at the top? The aspirants tend to overlook this statistic.

I penned “I’d Love To Be Rich” as a spoof from the viewpoint of a regular sap with daydreams of dough. Recorded in Lawrence, Ks. in 1981 or 82. The Geckettes provide the oooh wahh ooohs.

Dancing Dairy Products

Side View

The Dancing Dairy Products at Sunflower Cablevision

The Dancing Dairy Products stepped their way into the hearts of many Eastern Kansans’ during the early 80s. They performed as part of the Barking Gecko entourage. Full disclosure: I married the cheese. (These photos by Jim Jewel.)

In performance, three dietary perspectives were presented by the Dairy MC. (No footage exists.) Here is the complete “rap” from memory:

The Meat Eater

I like to fry

Big hunks of meat

Pop ‘em in my mouth and chew

If I can’t find a sow I’ll settle for a cow

Or maybe a sheep or two

Bacon grease

Such sweet release

I love to eat ribs till I’m blue

Love to eat ribs till I’m blue

The Vegetarian:

I chew grapes

And drink pomegranate juice

I eat sprouts, lentils and mung

I’ll finish my kelp

Without any help

Wheat germ and oats keep me young

Vitamin D, so good for the knee

The heart the eyes and the lung

The soul the snout and the tongue

The Voice of Reason

But wait a minute!

Along with your meat

You just have to eat

Vegetables each day

Zucchini and steak

And bread that you bake

And don’t forget your dairy products

Don’t forget your dairy products…

Please please don’t forget your cheese

Hey that’s what I said

Smooth as silk they call it milk

a little bit of razzamatazz

After the show

The act broke up when the cheese took a teaching job. The DDP may have curdled into the sunset but this should not spoil it for true believers.

Gotta Have a Leisure Suit

In the 70s, nothing was more anti-bohemian than the polyester leisure suit. It stood for all that was crass and square in modern, clueless, adult pop culture—  disco style replacing freakwear.

Leisure suits are now considered costumes but in 1978 they were worn in a serious way. Fashion ugliness had reached a zenith. By about 1980 they had lost their luster.

In 1980, when the barking Geckos were re-forming, I put a classified ad in the Lawrence Daily Journal World asking for the donation of unwanted leisure suits, needed as a performance prop for a song of mine, Leisure Suit.  Two women answered the ad. I obtained one exceedingly bright yellow number and one of a dull shade of green. Could not locate the Holy Grail color: lime green, the suit mentioned in the song. Dull, colorless green would have to do.

Button detail.

My son borrowed the bright yellow suit for his culturally upending dance performance with S. Hack at the South Junior High Variet Show circa 1996 or 97.

Here’s the only recorded version of the song from 1980 Barking Gecko performance at The Lawrence Opera House.

A Night at the Gallery Cabaret with UTK

This is the place….

The Gallery Cabaret at 2020 N. Oakley in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.

The Gallery Cabaret is a corner bar with live music 7 nights a week. And never a cover charge. It’s the best place to catch UTK, aka Under The Kitchen. Next Show: April 13, 2013.

The meaningful paint job puts you in the mood before you even enter.

Snazzy side view

Stay tuned for our next performance here. You are most welcome.

Beseeching…

In the groove

The interior lighting adds to the atmosphere. We are in a laboratory— a  petri dish of existentialism.

Vassili G captures the garishly dim lighting vibe

The place is anti-pop. You know you’re not in the suburbs anymore when you’re in the GalCab. You’re far from the boondocks, too. The nearest wild animal is a rat.

View from the floor

This would be a likely spot to take a tourist from New Zealand.

For those with hair, it’s a good place to let it down.

UTK fans toast your health

The walls are littered with art done by folks.The bar staff handles the action with a style that ranges from wacky to nonchalant. Kenny is the owner.  In the next photo he’s way at the end of the bar, though looking away from the camera.

Portraits of James Joyce and Edgar Poe hang above the bar

The patrons are music aficionados, hipsters, daily drinkers, musicians, out of work comedians, and assorted misfits who may or may not have a reason to get off their barstool. Everyone is out to have a good time.

UTK has played about 10 gigs at the Gallery Cabaret. It makes for an entertaining night out.

UTK galfans

Sir Plastic Crimewave offers caricatures during recent UTK gig.

Suffering from mildew buildup of the soul? UTK can help.
Rocks harder than other leading bands

Here’s a verite video that will allow you to experience the flagrant relevance of this corner bar. Our cover of Champagne and Reefer

Note the harvest decor gracing the portal.

For more UTK vids: http://www.youtube.com/user/UnderTheKitchen?feature=watch