the universe is cold, video

there’s something weird about this song. it’s included on “the empire never ended,” (available for download/streaming at which includes songs inspired by sci-fi author and all around insane genius life hacking guru philip k dick.

but “the universe is cold” is the only song that isn’t tied to a specific novel, story, or pkd-related event.

it was written in the fall of 2009 after a date (it must’ve been our 3rd or 4th date) with my now wife, and at the time, i was reading ‘Martian Time Slip’ so there is some loose connection.

anyway, pkd writes a lot about the duality of the universe — life and death; good and evil; etc etc etc., and this song is about where those things meet, which to me is a crucial idea for understanding life.

it sounds ridiculous, i guess, but the idea is that life and death are part of a cycle of adaptation and evolution; that we’re not really the lifeforms we think we are. that life is, in fact, bigger than all of us combined. that the universe and time exist as one variation in an infinite struggle that ends… how? when? i guess we don’t know. and why should we? the bacteria that live in our stomachs and help us turn carrots into poop have no idea where their host is going, so why should we?

i’m not saying we’re stuck in some host’s stomach, but it’s the closest metaphor i can come up with.

so, yep. here you go. the video. an old yiddish animation. featuring a goat.

the universe is cold
and i can’t make it
i can’t live
in this universe
we prove that the end is near
we’ve torn our hearts from the ground
we’ll watch as our bodies decay
we’ll stand above our own graves
singing our own funeral songs
rustling our feet through dead leaves
that were once
our rotting flesh
soft acrid smell
it is our body’s last wish
to bury itself
to watch
as it ends

lyrics, yo

but here are the lyrics!

there’s even a track that isn’t on the album, “another world, another god” which was inspired by the three stigmata of palmer eldritch… it just wasn’t good enough for my exacting standards (also money-making re-issues need b-sides, so… there’s that)

the empire never ended is…

tEnEMany, many years ago (god, I am getting old), I read “The Futurological Congress,” by Stanislaw Lem. It was an instant favorite. After that, I absorbed every Lem book I could find and was constantly pleased. Then, in an old interview I found online, Lem claimed that he was just rehashing ideas that Philip K. Dick had already covered.

And so PKD entered into my life. “The Man in the High Castle” was first. Then short stories by the hundreds. Then, like a catch phrase that you never knew existed but is totally awesome, came “Ubik,” and that’s when the genius, power, and creativity hit me. This was my new Jorge Luis Borges. This was magical realism disguised by sci-fi. I was in a new Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius and it was as real and as pure as anything I’d ever experienced. It was maddening and confusing. The world of Ubik is equal parts “The Running Man” and Jean Baudrillard.

And then, everything else followed. I devoured every story, film, & biography I could swallow. Well, nearly everything. I still haven’t gotten up the courage to read these newly published non-sci-fi works… whatever. sue me.

And then a few years ago I wrote this song, “fake world, nyc” whose first few verses seemed to be about feeling stuck in a relationship where you are isolated but feel helpless to change things. After a few attempts at polishing it, I realized I was singing about “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Completely unintentionally I had re-created the world that Deckard lives in… but it was my life that I was describing. It was eerie, and one of those elusive pure moments of inspiration that artists live for.
After a complete overhaul, the song was completed and recorded for my 2009 album Simulation of an Artist.

But, that moment stuck with me and drove me to write (and to read) more.

The tumultuous relationship that was ending at the time—together with the idea of writing about my favorite sci-fi—pushed me to write other PDK-inspired songs. And then, it hit me, this is a concept. For an album. A “concept album” as it were.

tEnE 2That was the beginning. From that idea sprang forth a thousand words and a hundred songs—thirteen of which comprise The Empire Never Ended.

There are hundreds of hours, millions of gublots (a unit I just made up) of effort, and several garbage pails full of love, that went into these songs. (i think the secret is that these songs are actually more a part of me than PKD, but i’ll never tell…) so I promise that i’ll eventually write more about each of them.

Thanks for listening and for reading.

the empire never ended, tracklist and artwork

hi all
good news about the upcoming record.
the artwork and tracklist are below.

hey, i’m excited. my friend marc painted this portrait of me.
it’s an homage to this image but with my head on it.

1. the empire never ended
2. killing in the name of all that is good and holy
3. horselover (formerly “on writing”)
4. a life like god’s records
5. shortened life, part 1
6. abendsen’s dream (formerly
7. a precog never lies
8. twinless twin
9. shortened life, part 2
10. mercerism (fake world, revisited)
11. child of mars
12. i’m alive and you’re dead
13. the universe is cold

tentative release date: March 27, 2012

listen to demos on my soundcloud page

yet more demo tracks for ‘the empire never ended’

so i’ve conveniently uploaded these demos to this soundcloud set:

there are a total of 9 tracks and i’m estimating that i’ll have 4 more very soon.
the release will most likely be pushed to 2012, but i want to give the songs the tender love and care that they deserve.
also i have a day job (at least for 2 more weeks, that is) so i don’t have nearly as much time as i would like to spend on mixing and mastering.

whatevs. no more excuses. rock over and out.

child of mars

another hit song about a philip k. dick story!

this one is called “child of mars” and it’s loosely based on/inspired by the pkd novel Martian Time-Slip

child of mars – demo by ieatpants

one of my favorite things about this novel is the fucked up way that pkd rationalizes this autistic child’s condition. he bestows some god-like power to him, and then he fucks up his whole world.

deep shit man. we’re all in it.

the empire never ended

“the empire never ended” is the self titled demo track from the upcoming ieatpants album the empire never ended.”
the empire never ended – demo by ieatpants

the title refers to a line from the book VALIS, in which pkd hypothesized that history had been stopped in the 1st century A.D., and that “the Empire never ended” (referring to the Roman Empire). He saw Rome as the pinnacle of materialism and despotism, which, after forcing the Gnostics underground, had kept the population of Earth enslaved to worldly possessions.* [ from Wikipedia]

the album contains songs inspired by philip k. dick’s life and stories.

i am currently mixing and recording overdubs for the rest of the songs.

i will post demos here and then release the whole album on iTunes.

twinless twin

i’ve the first demo track from the upcoming ieatpants album “the empire never ended.”

this song is called “twinless twin”

all of the songs on the album are inspired by philip k. dick’s life and stories.

twinless twin by ieatpants

Philip Kindred Dick and his twin sister, Jane Charlotte Dick, were born six weeks prematurely on December 16, 1928 in Chicago to Dorothy Kindred Dick, and Joseph Edgar Dick who worked for the United States Department of Agriculture. Jane died six weeks later on January 26, 1929. The death of Philip’s twin sister profoundly affected his writing, relationships, and every aspect of his life, leading to the recurrent motif of the “phantom twin” in many of his books. (from:

the survivor of this type of early twin loss is called a twinless twin.

i am currently mixing and recording overdubs for the rest of the songs.
i will post demos here and then release the whole album on iTunes.