Out of sheer necessity, we have composed a number of snappy taglines to help explain ourselves to the shocked, clearly frightened, and frankly uncomprehending masses. There's that line you may have seen on the home page: stopping traffic at the intersection of spoken word and music. That's an apt description of what we're about -- writing poems and stories and creating music to fit them (or the other way around). At the top of this very page, you'll find the line better living through highly skilled wordplay. [If you're like us - and heaven help you if you are -- you've probably been to a few readings or slams that could sorely use a dollop of skill and some reasonably adept wordcraft.] Even though our site has been live only a short time, lucidscreaming has already scrambled to the top of the heap to become the Internet's premier source of soundtracked wordplay. [If this claim seems exaggerated, get thee to Google and check the net for yourself. It's a bloody fucking mess out there.]

Lest you somehow absorb the misguided impression that we're all about fun and games and drunken parties, we can assure you that one of our chief objectives is to provide a really valuable service to society. As you may have guessed already from perusing this site, a couple of the guys in the group are somewhat unstable, and might just go off like a time bomb and hurt some innocent people if they don't have an outlet like this for expressing themselves. Better to do a little lucidscreaming now and again, should the only alternative be some pretty nasty chaotic violence (and prison time) down the road. Let's see now... what more can be said about the whole lucidscreaming phenomenon? It's a literary collective. It's a garage band. It's two art movements in one!

This is our most frequently unanswered question. Hey, lucidscreaming is definitely not for everyone. If you really can't stand what we do, that's actually a good thing -- it means you're probably halfway normal. Congratulations.

Regarding our oft-expressed high opinion of ourselves, it's not bragging if you have the goods to back it up. Just kidding -- we're perhaps not even half as phenomenal as we say we are. We're just better at this kind of thing than you -- probably…

To be mercifully brief, all of us are artists, writers and/or musicians. Like all artists these days, some of us are fortunate enough to do it professionally, some have day jobs. At any rate, each freaking genius involved in lucidscreaming has his own page, so we won't bore you with a repetitious recitation of the gory details. Travel thither, and at once. Here's the lineup:
Our senior member by birthdate, so it's Age before Beauty time. The OZ is in a class by himself when it comes to over-the-top poetic imagery and way-out-of-the-box weirdness. He's also the most highly sought after and decorated reader/performer of the group. Listen to one of Scotty's congenitally disfigured creations, and you may regret it for the rest of your days. Just kidding - he's really quite extraordinary, and in so many ways…
JC is lucid's resident philosopher, religious critic, and political commentator. JC is a tireless organizer and music archivist on behalf of the lucid movement, and he keeps us firmly on track whenever we threaten to lapse into gluttony and sloth. A spiritually gifted individual, JC has a third eye bulging from the center of his forehead. Lastly, he loves all things Brazilian, but hey, what's not to love?
Vince is what's known in lucid circles as a triple threat -- poet, musician, and tap dancer. He also plays just about any instrument you could name or could find in the dictionary, and very well at that. To Vince's credit or detriment, a solid majority of the music accompanying the lucid words on this site originated in his very brain. And that's saying something - we're just not sure what…
Hailing from New Zealand, Shaun is an internationally acclaimed vocalist and Director of the Hot City Serenaders, a fiery combo that performs Golden Age vintage jazz, latin, and swing music. As a guitarist, Shaun is accomplished in many styles: jazz, blues, rock, classical and flamenco. In 1997, he established House of Bossa, a recording and production facility. Enough babble…listen to his tracks. Let the music do the talking…
Our Lord of Lucid considers his duties in the movement to be sacred tasks worthy of religious reverence. Lord immolates greenbacks with worshipful oaths upon his lips. He tends the website with a supplicant's devotion. He toils over his computer ceaselessly, carving up old poetry tracks and remixing them with ACID music loops. Is the world indeed ready for this kind of zealot?
We've asked ourselves many times: What can't Aaron do? He can wax a mean axe. He can tickle an ivory to within an inch of its life. He can twirl a rainstick. He can coax compelling rhythms out of an old goatskin. He can rig a microphone. As a professional graphic artist, he can even draw a straight (or wavy) line, so who better to design those lucidscreaming CD covers?
We are eagerly awaiting new contributions from Mr. Cliff, who frankly has not been very forthcoming. Since his move east several years back, you might call him a lapsed lucidscreamer. Get with it, man. The world needs to read what you have to say.

Seems like we get one of the above variants of this question every couple of days now. Hmmm... how can one describe the OZ? The thing is, we could try to describe him for you, but it's extremely likely you wouldn't believe a word of it. Scotty's just your average, normal kind of guy...wait, what are we saying? Not normal by anyone's definition, certainly, but he is a kind, caring person and a very talented artist. Jesus, we're not getting anywhere here. You'd better just hightail it to the Osgood page, take a look around and draw your own conclusions.

It's not only illegal, some would have you believe it's immoral too. So are a lot of things lucidscreamers do, which we can't go into right now on the advice of our attorney. Let's put it this way: In life, some things just have to be done because they're the right thing to do, and feel so very very pleasurable. If we have to break a few laws along the way, so be it. We don't care. Keep your stinking badges to yourself. We insist that Burning Money is an act of patriotism in the extreme, and we daresay the Founding Fathers would have wanted you to exhibit a little backbone for once. You say you're afraid? Be honest. Which are you really more afraid of -- truth, or consequences? Go ahead, patriot. Reach for a C-note. Pick up a match. Light up and be somebody!

Lucidscreaming got its start in 1973. That was the fateful year in which several literary-minded young men from a certain depraved high school "in the greater Pasadena area" fled Los Angeles County - two steps ahead of the lynch mob - to go off to college and seek new adventures. Among the Guild's founding members were current lucidscreaming stalwarts JC McGowan and Clay Lord.

The Guild was first devised as a highly original way for college students far from home to keep their mailboxes filled. A calendar, consisting of dates (e.g., October 15) and story titles (e.g., "Weeknights on the Cross"), was drawn up. The concept was to mail a short work of fiction entitled "Weeknights on the Cross" on October 15 to all participants. In addition to Messrs. Lord and McGowan, participants in the inaugural Guild included Duke University scholar Jon Golden, Brown University international relations maven Bob Haefliger, and future Ph.D./global intelligence analyst Rick Ehrenreich. Strange as the idea sounds, it was actually highly entertaining to read five very dramatically different interpretations of the same story title.

After graduation from university, the Guild members were drawn back to LA like flies to a rotting corpse. With everyone local again, a filled mailbox seemed like less of a priority, and the Guild swiftly morphed into a live performance troupe. The same format, involving a mutually agreed-upon calendar of dates and titles, continued; however, on the specified date Guild members would gather to exhibit their deformed creations live, amid a debauched party atmosphere. Since a room filled with pathetic drunks usually made for an appreciative audience, the Guild continued on in this way for many years, if not decades. Along the way, random raving madmen were added to the mix (such as Barry Cliff [aka Bazwold] and Jeff Gross [aka Ssorg]).

The 1980s weren't just about senile, criminally culpable Chief Executives and New Wave bands with bad haircuts: The eighties were also a pivotal period in the history of lucidscreaming. At this time, James Scott Osgood was welcomed into the Guild, and immediately left a spreading and indelible stain on the group. Scotty (aka The Great and Powerful OZ) bore the permanent scars of attending that same depraved high school "in the greater Pasadena area," graduating several years ahead of McGowan and Lord. Flaunting his unmatched performance skills right from the start, Scotty instantly fit in, taking to the whole Guild mess like a match to a reservoir of gasoline. The eighties were also tainted by another seminal event, Clay Lord dragging a co-worker, poet/musician Vince Cummings, to his first Guild session. Vince was horrified, of course, but kept on coming in spite of how it made him feel. Vince is the one who first helped us expand our horizons beyond the realm of words, by creating music to match them. You could say that Vince's audio stylings became the steady heartbeat that kept lucidscreaming alive.

Since the eighties, we have kept growing in breadth and depth and general misbehavior. Shaun Sanders and Aaron Jones are the "newest" additions to the group. Both can really kick some serious musical and wordspinning ass, if you know what we mean. In other lucid developments, for just the past year or so, we've possessed the technology to switch back and forth between "real" musical instruments (see the RAW page) and the virtual kind, creating songs using digital music loops and computer software (Garageband and ACID). To hear the results of these digital forays, visit the COOKED page.

Anyway, that about brings us up to the present day. Thanks for listening, and if this ramble down history lane has put you to sleep, it's high time to WAKE UP and tend to your business -- or listen to a few more lucid MP3s.

[Webmaster's note: in case you were wondering, the questioner was mistaken; lucidscreaming has never received mention in Wired, nor Rolling Stone - yet.]

Oh Sweet Jesus H Christ on the Cross of Calvary, words cannot express the excitement and joy we are feeling at this very instant. We are so honored by your interest in our humble undertaking!

But seriously folks… If we can be somehow manage to be less than completely sarcastic for a moment, we've tried it and tried it again and again -- the adding new people thing -- and it really doesn't work all that well. In fact, it is invariably quite excruciating for everyone involved. If fate had cursed you to be a lucidscreamer, you'd know it, and chances are you'd already be in the group. If joining us is truly meant to happen, fear not, we will find you -- as Dubya said to Osama, you can run but you can't hide.

Here's our advice for relative neophytes. Some of us have been doing this for 30 years. Brilliance takes time. Even mere adequacy doesn't come easily or quickly. Don't rush yourself: go back to your corner table at Starbucks and work diligently on your craft. Besides, in another three months, you will have broken up with your girlfriend and you'll realize that those suddenly shitty poems of hers are awesome only as an extra-absorbent birdcage liner.

Having read all of the above, having swallowed all of the preceding arrogance and hauteur, if you still feel that you must apply for membership in our group and absolutely will not be deterred, by all means do so. Astonish us with your mastery! Submit the finest piece of art, music or literature that you have ever created in your life to roundfile@lucidscreaming.com. We'll get right on it.

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