Sunday, October 06, 2013


(Achewood, CA) Hot on the heels of Thief of Graves, FRAN.CE has released their second hit single to the world, "Dance Night." "A haunting night of Dance will transport the listener into realms of cyber intrigue and heart-stopping beats," said a representative.

FRAN.CE, Europe's hottest band, is slowly weaving their success in America, one hit at a time.

This is the first hit single by FRAN.CE to be "pre-mastered" by Téodor Orezscu, who worked backward to the original files by tracing down the artist's recording process and exposing the rare, raw tracks. FOR ADVANCED LISTENERS ONLY. 

Dance Night MP3
Dance Night M4A (pre-Mastered by DJ Tre-Odor)

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Saturday, October 05, 2013


It is now...FRAN.CE

I have noticed a great silence, following the release of my Classical music. At first I was angry, because I had worked so long, and shared so much. The work is fine, calculated against its own measure and balanced in the manner of the great masters. The top half dances across the bottom half, like a marionette of an ice skater in the hand of a child, the cantus firmus of its blades touching down in stretches and swirls above the providence and planning of a somber, paternal frame. It is Music. It is all-piano. It is Classical. I know this to be true.

Then it struck me: Classical music is never appreciated until long after its creators are dead. Beethoven went insane in his own time, never seeing a penny, dying in a cold apartment with only oats and their gravy in his stomach. Mozart--plopped into the anonymous gutter of souls, only so that his corpse would not attract vermin, not so that it could be honored. Schubert, with his venereal diseases.

To pep myself up again, I give you the first release by FRAN.CE, my digital band. I imagine them to be of European extraction, in their crisp white coveralls, golden silk gloves on their fingers as they stand on a glass stage at their "Digital Audio Workstations." Their hair is fluffy, and of the fashion. All dance, all are entranced, as the steady beat and whirling, unrelenting melodies snake into their veins. There is man-made fog. The pleasure is note-to-note, in the moment, and vanishes quicker than the smoke and sugar-fed bodies...Is electricity the enemy of music? Or is it the future? FRAN.CE

Thief of Graves - FRAN.CE
"Their First Single"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Behold, I have written Classical Music.


Although the reception of my Piano Music has not been much to speak of, I am undaunted. That is how I operate, and perhaps I have learned to work best this way. My many novels also languish on the shelves of history, unread and uncared-for, perhaps to be discovered by the Smithsonian or some other clearinghouse of repute. In time folks will see the effort I have made, the hours I have spent.

After hearing a stretch of Classical Music in the van the other day (I believe it was an Italian fellow who played under the name of Giganto, but the reception was not altogether perfect), I was inspired to write some of my own. Apparently people don't do that any more, but no matter. I listened to several Classical pieces, with the pretty piano "lines" that sound as though they are echoing in a glistening, white marble hall (all surfaces in Classical music must be imagined as glistening, never matte - that is one of my "tricks"), likely a hall where everyone has either died or is outside marveling at handsomely-curried horses. Perhaps it is Austria, in the famous mountains where white men eat fine chocolate as they march along flagstone streets, or perhaps it is ancient and forgotten Boravia, the wealth of which impresses no one any longer, the smiles of its children forgotten by all.

I must hold myself back. Please, here, enjoy this piece of Classical Music. It will remind you of glossy, airy marble halls, or I have not done my job.

Behold, Classical Music (mp3 format audio file, or "iTune")
Peter H. Cropes, Programmer of the Piano

Friday, September 13, 2013


I have shared a second song, "Peach Titus."

In the joy of haste, and O in the joy of growing familiar with this tape recorder and its frailty, I have released my second "single," Peach Titus. Those who do or don't know can read here that Peach Titus is a Southern tea, meant for correction but just divine as-is. It is my companion on many drives, in hot weather, humid, among the sleepy Acadians and Baptist-Huguenots (funny people, those) both. It is the beverage of a passive state, between works, a drink to be earned.

There is a slight error in the recording of this song, and I apologize for it. You will notice it, but you will forgive the early embarrassments of floating my music into a great and unknowable sea of blank faces.

Peach Titus - Peter H. Cropes, Programmer of the Piano

Hello, I am a Band now.

Good Evening. It has been some years since I have spoken with you, since we have shared words. I have been on a magical journey—to use the words of a showman—and I would like to tell you about it.

I am a band, now. Perhaps I am several bands, it is hard to say. This is how it happened.

There was a boy who thought well of himself, and he was quite fond of the latest, flashiest technologies. His iPhone, that Judas's cradle of the modern world, that bearer of hollow crux and vinuous grasp, came into my possession one day. On it was a harmless-looking computer program, and when, on a lark of sorts, on a long drive, I opened it up—it allowed me to place small blocks in a grid, and those blocks became sounds. They became music, they became tunes, through the machinery of men who work in Cupertino, California. It sounds like a false place of fallen orchards and glass, but their perversion has created something useful to me.

I was immediately taken with this easy ability to put down the tunes in my head, and change them over time to suit the knowledge I was gaining., that great website, taught me of "circles of fifths," and "counterfeit modulation." Such lofty terms. So, fancy. But they are useful, hard-won things. They ride unto us on the shoulders of madmen, of lunatics who died from their exertions in the service of music, strangled upon the tether from which they hung by the heavens. Beethoven. The mournful Russian Rachmaninoff. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (diminutive coprophiliac and giggler).

I am quite likely several bands. They suit my many moods.


   I have found kin in that plastic instrument, that lipstick, the synthesizer. I do not know why, but its tones soothe me. Perhaps the precision of its "attack" and "decay" can be specified so cleanly, it is therapeutic. Please, enjoy the music of FRAN.CE.

2. Piano Dan
   Perhaps you might say, he is my "alter ego." Or just a character I have schemed up. A "piano-loving friend" who diddles all the night and day on his keys, creating the most delightful—or perhaps the least delightful—simple piano melodies. I imagine him as serious, silent, leaving when he is done, walking up round the fertile berm of the lane that wound from home to the world beyond.

3. Downtown Mammal
   This is something I don't know that I do.

As you have been aware, I am not of an ease with computers. This "iTunes," with its crazy spelling, is something I simply cannot make known to me. To hear Téodor say it, the songs become one in the air, and appear on devices which have an understanding placed in them by the wealthy. I will have none of it. In my world, music is a good old thing, listened to on cassettes, and easily shared in that way. Because I can not e-mail you all a cassette, however, I played my iPhone into my tape recorder, then played my tape recorder at a computer's microphone. From there it was a hop-skip to share my first song with you. If you enjoy it, please hold your own tape recorder to your computer's speaker, and then carry it with you wherever you go.

Orris Root Tango - Peter H. Cropes, Programmer of the Piano
This little tune may be considered how it feels to drive at night, down the furrowed hard-clay lanes of Parish Amortane, Louisiana, between the orris fields and the fragrant sassafrass, knowing it was time to do what you had felt building inside you for many days.

Sunday, May 04, 2008



A new sandwich company has opened its doors just a few blocks from Pat's house. It is called "Quizno's," perhaps named for an Italian fellow, and their claim to fame is that they heat up all of their sandwiches, guaranteed. This intrigued me, as I have a very good memory of a hot sandwich at a road house late one night while driving across the country. Oh how the roll was toasty but soft, and oh how the cheese did melt into a fine soft sheet atop the many meats. I did not ask for the free fresh-sliced onions, because I did not want to cool down the sandwich with vegetables.

My sandwich at Quizno's was quite tasty. After some time in considering the large menu, I asked the female for a Bacon Chipotle Club, and I agreed to the larger size (one foot). It was served open-faced, and I allowed for a squirt of pink-colored "chili" mayonnaise. I am glad that I did. The sandwich bites came alive and sang once inside my lips. I ate and ate, the pleasure of each mouthful growing like a fire inside me. Saliva squirted inside my mouth with abandon, like a car wash. That sandwich was literally treated to a car wash inside my mouth...

I was so pleased with the sandwich that I pored over all of the literature available about Quizno's, but could find no company history. This must mean that it is a corporate invention. That is fine, if they can produce such a tasty product, but I would like them even better if they had a good story to them. Once home, I sat myself at my desk and began to pen the tale of Giugliacomo "Johnny" Quizno, my imaginary founder of the chain. A good, stout boy from Italy, he boards a steamship for Brooklyn in 1909, and makes his bones the old-world way, in a time of murder, prostitution, hard liquor, and the foods that stood up to it. He has a large belly all his life, but this is shown as seeming trustworthy rather than unpleasant. Anyhow. I am typing all of this up, and even drawing a portrait of Johnny, to mail to the corporate headquarters. It is an exciting time, for I know they will welcome this clever idea.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Where Rachael Ray Lives.

A little while back I mentioned that I was not happy with Rachael Ray, a famous television personality, because of the way she spoke low of perch. I guess I never told you how my "visit" to her went. Well, it is the holidays, and I finally have some time to myself, so here is that story.

I had read on-line that Rachael Ray lives in the woods outside of New York City, so I hopped in the van and got going. I figured I could do research here and there on the way, in various "hobo cafes" where there is Internet (I could also call a few colleagues). Things went well, and I made it to New York in about fifty hours. Once in New York, I had a pretty good idea of where she lived, so I headed "upstate" to the quiet rural community she calls home.

It's a nice enough town, with pines and cedars lining the road. The air is fresh, and the last yellow silt from pollen season lines the creek beds. An old general store advertises daily specials on medicine or cloth, and tired men in honest caps walk dogs that have real problems. Two women chat as they enter what is clearly a beloved hamburger restaurant.

I like where she lives; it is a good place. This is why I do not like that she lives there. It is as though she does not Get it. She tries much too hard to please. A good country person waits to be pleased. Poverty cannot afford to dance.

After some eavesdropping behind a newspaper I hear a local man mention where her house is to a new pizza delivery boy. I start the van and head there. The light is growing dim, and I have sulfured eggs to distract her dogs.

I make a few wrong turns, out on the foggy pine forest roads, but it isn't long before I know I've found the place. I ask you, what good country family has three matching PT Cruisers. Why would she need three. I know she is married, but it just seems terrible. It makes me angry. She should not make her husband drive a PT Cruiser. No matter who he is. (Although, I have to admit, my opinion on that will soon change.)

I park the van six miles down the road, to ward off suspicion, then sprint back to their property. As I had read, there are large dogs prowling about. I reach into my fanny sack and throw two sulfured eggs as far as I can from the house. The dogs hear the cracks and sprint away. Perfect. I've injected the eggs with Haxall's Pandemonium Chlorodyne.

Now it's time to get up and look in the windows. The first thing I see, unfortunately, is her short husband using the bathroom. Before I can duck away I learn the awful truth: he is sweating, and he has jazz butt. The window is open, so I am spared no detail, no matter how quickly I try to creep away. Oh god how awful, how awful to live with Rachael Ray. How awful to watch what happens. How awful to eat what happens.

Soon I have crept around to the back deck and I see the small husband, an Italian fellow, walk delicately into the large dine-in kitchen. Rachael is there and, away from the cameras, she wears Mickey Mouse clothing from head to toe. Even her house slippers have things on them which make it clear they are a Mickey Mouse product. She stirs a large pot of something I cannot see clearly; I hear her tell the little husband that it is her "Astronaut Turkey Smackers." I do not know how something called a "smacker," or meant for astronauts, can be prepared in a large pot. It seems that outer space demands special, careful foods. I feel lost. The husband, too, has the same feeling. He sneaks off to the driveway and takes a big sip of Amstel from a hidden place in the back of the third PT Cruiser. He has done this before.

Soon the pizza delivery boy pulls into view, but he stops a hundred yards down the road. He leaves a pizza box near a fencepost, picks up a rock, and removes what looks like cash. The husband does not look in his direction, but when he has heard the boy's engine fade away he sprints to the pie and ravenously consumes several slices. He then hides the box beneath large dried cedar branches, perhaps for later. It is a gamble, as animals may eat it, but it looks to me that he lives by playing at odds. He wipes wet leaves and pine needles on his mouth, on his tongue, to hide the smells.

Rachael steps out to the front porch and yells, "JAAAAHN? JOHN-BOY? YOU OUT THERE?"

The husband panics, and yells back, "I...I was chasing a rabbit! It looked like it was hurt!"

"Well, was it?"

"I guess not, Rach, 'cause he sure got away fast!"

"Get back in here! I just got an idea for Hobgoblin Turkey Gobblers! You know, kind of a Halloween thing!"

"Sounds awesome, Rach! What's...what's in it?"

"I'll figure that out later! Come in here and try the Smackers, and quit makin' me yell. You know I'm doin' twelve shows tomorrow!"

He whispers his reply: "Sure thing, Rach!"


"Sorry, Rach! Be there in a sec!"

The dogs finally start to howl and convulse in the woods behind the house, so they run off to see what is the matter. I am disgusted with them both; I do not want to confront this terrible situation as much as I thought I did. I want to be gone, away from these two. It is all I can do to go into the house, make myself sick on a plate, and leave it by the stove. "Amateur hour," I know.

Not too long after that I am back in the van, headed for home. I am disappointed, and it takes me a good sixty hours to reach California. When I turn on the television, there is Rachael Ray, serving a meal of Astronaut Turkey Smackers. A telltale stain of iodine shows just past the cuff of a long shirt sleeve: she has been bitten by a crazed dog.

In a way, I have communicated with her, but I would not call it a conversation.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Cold Noodles.

There are not many foods which I can eat in common with Pat, as he is quite particular. There is even a name for his style of peculiarity, but it escapes me at the moment. Something like Rogaine, although you and I both know that Rogaine is a gentleman's hair recovery salve. Anyhow. My point is, Pat and I both enjoy noodle meals.

We also enjoy my home-crafted "tater tots," but that is not on topic. Heh. I guess I just say it to brag. Oh how I love that old recipe.

Tonight's noodle meal was to be divine. Pat cooks some special Oriental spaghetti-type pasta and then coats it with "organic" peanut butter. The idea, the combination, is lunacy, but oh how delicious it is. It is amazing food. He often sprinkles it with coriander leaf and sesame "bushotto." Oh how it is filling. Oh how it sates. When he makes it lately, we even refer to the dish as "lunatic noodles." It is a joke among men. It is good.

I was very late getting home after my trip to the secret redwood patch (one of the roads had gone out after the first rain and I needed to shore up a section with a fill wall — even added a French drain for good measure) so my noodles had gone cold. I was polite and said I was sorry I had been late, but Pat continued to watch his television show about dancing. I put the noodles in the microwave cooker but this caused the peanut butter to separate into oil and an unpleasant mealy paste, and the noodles went clumpy. To honor Pat's commitment I ate it, but it was horrid. Every bite was an eternity. Every swallow was to vomit oil and glue into my own stomach. At the end of the meal I was ill, mad at Pat (although I honored him), and there was no fun in the house. I sat alongside the car in the dark garage for a few hours until my body had processed the terrible nutrition, and then went to the corner store for a pickled chorizo and a box of Saltines.

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