Life On Mars: Chapter 1 (Street Walker)

“Dream big,” I remember my mother telling me. “Dream big like the stars.”

It was 4AM and I lay awake thinking of my future. Today was the day I’d begin training for my new job. Of course I felt excited and although I did not feel nervous, I did feel a bit of unexplained pressure. Normally, whenever I start something new I try to do as much preparation as possible so that I know my way around the ship, as they say.

As I lay there watching the morning light make its way onto the backside of my curtains, illuminating the whole drapery like the delicate bio-luminescence of the sea, I felt the heaviness of my eyelids.

When I finally awoke it was 8AM. I was not late, but I would not be as early to training as I had wanted. I got out of bed and prepared myself for the day. As I exited my front door and made my way to my transport vehicle I felt the sunshine warm me as it invigorated my senses.

Along the way, I daydreamed of my future. Would I become a solitary figure in the pursuit of happiness for future generations to come, or would I start living my life with each passing breath?

When I arrived, I was told to report to “Building A” in order to begin my training. It was the first step toward my new future, one that I was in control of and I felt proud.

Summary of themes:

An observer disturbs the balance. A holographic understanding of the world takes shape.

When we feel the warmth of the Sun, we feel the Sun’s life-giving force. We feel life.

Which is it, then? Does the Sun simply give life, or is it alive?

Where is our character headed in this opening Chapter? Stay tuned to find out.

Character Development

Sun & Street Walker

Dimensions of Maybelline

The Sea & C’est La Vie

Wildlife is Coming Home

In the end, we are all a Live One

Listen to the Wind Go

The Seasons change, Nature endures in a Long Couple of Days

Fiery Earth of magmatic Highs & and cratered Lows

Sunday Review: Beyond A Dream by Pharaoh Sanders and Norman Connors

It starts like the descending walk of an Egyptian Pharaoh, and subsequent journey across the desert.

For “A Dream,” and “Beyond” in these elements you’ll discover possibly more than you could have imagined.

The eventual giddiness of “Babylon” gives way to an intense and sophisticated cerebral soup with smiles and groove.

Enter the buzzing and drawn out chorus of percussion, with crashing cymbals, and highlights of woodwinds and brass.

Track Two: “Beyond A Dream” kicks off in a similar fashion as “Babylon,” but soon finds a groove of its own. This is a different pace and place now that reminds me of a more modern time.

Shifting colors, interpretations, a montage of industrial rhythms and sounds.

Announcements, computer technology, city transit and other forms of industry give rise to the jungle.

Scat soon becomes the breathe of the land and a looming question of “Why?” seems to persist.

Announcements by the birds, by the beat, by African, European, American gibberish.

Expectations to let go, thoughts drop and flutter, saying “whatever” as they fly on by.

They buzz and proclaim as they fade away…

“Montreux Overture” continues the fluttering that now feels like more of a threat.

This is a new start to motion, lurching forward, go! Leave!

The bees and bugs, and sun and elephants ready to defend their jungle as they shout.

Experimental rhythms are out for blood and want to give it all.

Fireworks, death, sirens, cars honking, an elephant trumpet signals aggression and distress.

Stop: As the wind blows by, we sing and fly away to the stillness of Earth at a magnificent height, or maybe not… as Side 1 of “Beyond A Dream” comes to an end.

What will be stopped? What killing or birth has commenced? This moving piece of music proclaims and yet ceases…

“The End of the Beginning” starts with a presentation of themes. A golden piano whizzing with new ideas and life.

Elements, scales, shadows… if this piano had teeth, like a chattering skull it may be singing the choruses of a thousand voices.

Steely and climbing, we ascend the towers of scaffolding that designate our modern lives.

Where do we go from here? A harrowing herd passes and we smile…

New expressions and pleasure, abstractions and wind chimes… let us sing! Dance! Go!

The fault lines of sorrow and misery bring a reprise to themes… groove.

The bass, soul, rhythm, shakers, and groove… they all perform to be heard and felt.

Rattle on and show us! Demonstrate the elements of life, with shake and expels of ‘forgotten memories’ that in this case we just can shake.

Forge, in love, and bouncing elation the road ahead that plows and herds and stampedes at times to bring a shouting of announcements to the world. A Pharaoh rides on…

Elements do return, and they make their presence, as they are part of the jungle. They re-emerge for they are part of life, born and contrasting in their very presence.

Pathways of stillness give rise to movement as they flutter and slide and nod and tip the hat to riders of deceit who are on the fringe of foul trades and other beats.

But the ambience of guitar and strings brings a standard to the mix.

Tiresome and annoyed, we sometimes laugh through the elements in view of our personal anguish. Laughter is some of the best medicine we have…

Bells ring true and fade away like the alarms of a studying clock for when the assignment has become past due and there’s no other coming-to-terms that is necessary other than what you are capable of in this moment.

These thoughts can lead to action and a progression forward. Like the groove, “Casino Latino” blends well to bring a closure to the former calls of sirens and melee of the jungle. We will not forget it even in bliss.

Modern and ancient, like referees shouting calls during a game, we hear a world of proclamations, of action.

Overall, this record has spoken to me in so many distinct, and yet non-distinct, ways. Meaning, there is a language of instruments that can be interpreted and felt, and that can give rise to many imaginative things. I really enjoy this record and I’m happy to have come across it, and for your review and reading pleasure.

The beat goes on, and indistinct shouting continues to jar and stir us in and out of the worlds we inhabit. For me, this supports the groove and mindfulness toward it.

Pharaoh Sanders & Norman Connors – Beyond A Dream – Recorded Live at Montreux Jazz Fest 1978.

Sunday Review: Ghosts of the Forest – Trey Anastasio


The first song hits you like a mellow 70s groove with legs. Trey’s guitar sounds like a trumpet in a Smokey Jazz Club. He’s drowning in a list of things we can all share. Thoughts – Feelings – all of the heavy ones.

“Ghosts of the Forest” kicks off a stutter step tip-toe like dance with soothing metallic harmonies of self-reflection.

That guitar though, it’s sexy like the sunset and heavy like an abyss.

Song Two continues the Wurlitzer-like rotating FX with lyrics of “Drift While You’re Sleeping.”

There’s something about the ascending scales later on that remind you of how special those Choral FX truly are.

At first I heard the Bass as Heavy and the Guitars in a Watery Grave, and I realize now that’s the planting of the seed that our dreams can bring…

If “Ghosts of the Forest” enumerate a list of grievances toward life, then “Drift While You’re Sleeping” is life.

Listen to a chorus of trees that have root growth and tell the story of their existence.

We are all one and love is the answer is a nice resting place to soak it all in.

“Drift While You’re Sleeping” continues as an epic journey in its own right seamlessly moving from groove-to-groove, and stage-to-stage in our collective living evolution.

Enjoy this wonderful album! I always listen twice, and man the second time feels good. Is that because of the edible I ate earlier? Sometimes we have to get out of our own way.


“Friend” reminds me of loss and misunderstanding. I feel exhausted by emotion and I’m tired of trying to prove myself.

It’s one of those grooves you just wanna have with your besties. You take it down a notch so you can dig in and then kick it into high gear all while communicating clearly and openly. Being authentic sometimes has less to do with a sense of self than it does with a tired soul trying to keep up with a modern life.

The band gives it nice resting ground to sink. This mellow bottom, and longing, a drowning and bursting with big guitar eventually sinks like a rock. Resting, there’s acceptance.

“About To Run” kicks off defiantly with a rising groove. It’s like a confession for being alive. Trapped regrets eventually give rise to explosive expression. So we resolve to act.

This heavy groove reminds me of a beast who acts out of beastly action. It does not think twice because it does not need to think twice. It knows what it wants and what it needs. “The ghost is always there.”

Where have I gone to? I’m “Halfway Home” and I’m really feeling these song transitions. I love an album that both rocks, and rolls onward like a story we can all relate to. Even if you can’t relate, you feel it. You feel something. There’s upbeat relief, with intensity, and rolling free. You know where you’re going, even if it’s hard.

There’s something that draws you in, and spits you out, but you go anyway. You want to deal with the source of things, and have a glimpse of the sun’s raw power. It’s refreshing, daunting, but you have backup. You’ve already seen and felt the worse parts of life, and you will conquer what’s left in order to be free.

Bent, but not broken.


My first thoughts are that this is a great road trip album.

I can see the “Long Lines” pass me by.

Calmly, I observe in my celestial craft. The voices express a range of emotions, scarred and uplifting.

A hammer, and sun, are the constructions of my mechanical view. There’s beauty in touch, and feeling.

So I am waiting… ready…

“Ruby Waves” is as Trey as you want Trey to always be. That drumbeat, specific lyrics, and mellow groove paint a truthful picture of life and death as if to say, they are the same thing.

Escape, truth, wonder, Fuck it! Go for it!

Dimensions are only barriers of space and time, and they can be transcended…

“It’s such a brief time we get to be here.”

“What was I so worried about?”


Out at sea, we drift so naturally…

A starry night, and watery magic…

It doesn’t get much better than this… there’s love, and trance…

A primordial abyss that you’re dancing atop, if that’s possible…

You are the abyss…

“Beneath a Sea of Stars” takes you on quite a journey…

If A, B & C set the stage, then now you are ‘live’ and rea-D-y to just be…

“And we’re free of time…”

The song gives plenty of space to groove and syncopate… and drift away…

The primordial ooze is oozing, and bubbling… it’d ominous if it weren’t so natural…

Suddenly, it has sprung free and is there to greet us in the form of morning birds and “phantasm.”

Views from a mountaintop bring activity, a mellow waking.

The ghosts are out to greet me…

They slide into the sea, guided by forces, oozing.

Hints of the ghosts give rise to an anthropomorphic dance. This is what we know. It’s “Blue! all around!”

It’s blueeeeeeee!

This is what we do!

The album exclaims by punching-in and aiming skyward.

Astral echoes of familiar resolve. Expect some nice organ on the coda to accompany you home.

And just like that, it’s gone, with an explosion to form your new home, here and now.

Congratulations – You Just Made It Through a Wormhole

A wormhole is a speculative structure linking disparate points in spacetime, and is based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations. A wormhole can be visualized as a tunnel with two ends at separate points in spacetime. 


You may not have known it, but remember that funny feeling when things don’t appear as they seem? Colored lines of ruby red fade into black and nothingness.

Your cosmic self may cease to be, but when there’s 1, now there’s 3… to infinity…

The Multiverse is a concept that boggles the mind, or does it? You see, I knew something was not right when the world seemed to enter crisis mode. I knew something was different when all logic was defied by a simple set of lies and reactive impulses, self-fulfilling in every way. Protection. Protection. Protection.

It is I who claims to know all things… It is I who inhabits this world… It is I, for God almighty, I am jubilant!

Oh, blissful ignorance and self-loathing. They seem to go hand in hand, unless of course you’re NOT fooling yourself, in which case you just need help. Or rather, you need help either way. We all do, in some ways, and some more than others…

Here’s the thing though… We unfortunately need to stick together. Only the strongest survive, except when the weakest can’t go at it alone and they somehow take control through the interconnected web of truths we share or don’t share.

All realities happening simultaneously means some may not know they ever entered a wormhole, or rather, maybe they have not? Perhaps it is simply I who have entered and returned, but from where? Another reality to you and me is not the same. We blame and play the name game when we cannot name the name. The name is the word and the truth shall be heard, but what happens when truth is distorted into thirds… Split personality and multi-rationality, where will it end? Will we ever be whole again?

It depends on how you think and upon which knowing you believe it, and I believe we can in the traditional sense of a word, unite and come together to be heard, to proclaim how we feel each day and respect each other anyway.

Love & Empathy is the glue that binds, a force untimed and always there to be, a force that conjures in me a feeling of love & empathy.

Life On Mars Listening Party

Visit at 7:00 PM to tune-in to our Listening Party!

I will be engaging with fans and inviting you to associate words or feelings with the music of Life On Mars!

You will hear the music of Life On Mars on a Vinyl Record Test Pressing!

Pre-order your copy here on Vinyl and here as a Digital Download (release date: 1/22/21)

Support Independent Artists!

Thank you!



Introducing: Life On Mars 1/22/21

Life On Mars” is an Americana Music Album.

Life On Mars is all about dreaming of a better place filled with love and empathy.

When I set out on this journey 4 years ago to the day, or thereabouts…

Entering 2017 was a time of great change during our nation’s inauguration.

Previously, I had been inspired on a journey through Iceland in September and October of 2016.

When I returned home I felt compelled to write, and to speak my mind…

So here we are again, and we have righted the ship, but not without sustained damages.

Today I am making a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT:

You can purchase the album now for $5.99 at my Cosmic Store.

You can Pre-Order the Vinyl Record here for $34.99. PREORDER IN ADVANCE & RECEIVE A SPECIAL PRIZE.

Life On Mars on Vinyl – mock-up – manufacturing with Erika Records in Buena Park, CA – Preorder now!

With that said, I’m excited to tell you that I’m finally committed to a release schedule that makes sense and I think you will enjoy!


The Launch sequence begins with a Listening Party on Thursday, 1/21/21 at 7PM where I will ask fans to engage with me on my ‘gram account @RileyHodgesMusic 🙂

I will be asking fans to comment words or feelings that come to mind that I will then use to inform my release schedule and I will create an interactive game for fans to play along with me and help write the “Story of Life On Mars” – check out #OURSTORY_LOM on the ‘gram.

From there I will be highlighting each song on the album in order of appearance, including:

  • A new Blog Post written and informed by your feedback and comments for #OURSTORY_LOM
  • A new Music Video for each song
  • Special Offers

Recently, I’ve been working on a TV show that I created called Cosmic Cocktails where I announced the date of my Life On Mars album release for Friday 1/22/21.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there are still some delays for the Vinyl Record that I cannot account for – most importantly, the Vinyl Record I have been working on is taking longer than expected (I do have test pressings completed and you can check them out during my Listening Party on Thursday, 1/21/21).

You can Pre-order the Vinyl Record for “Life On Mars” by visiting my website here.

The World Caught a Cold with Donald Trump

We all know that nasty cold that lingers on for weeks and weeks…

Well, it’s been 4 years and I’m still sick…

Donald Trump may be the worst President ever, and just like the inflammation he has caused, we’ll be in recovery for a long time.

But Donald Trump didn’t pave the way for what he ultimately did to our country. That was the Republican Party, now, for all intents and purposes, defunct.

When I read a book called Practical Paleo recently, researching a nutritional plan, I was struck with the similarities of anti nutrients, or defense mechanisms from plants, and how they can exacerbate your immune response to create chronic conditions if left untreated.

In the same way, our country, and the world, has suffered 4 years of this ongoing inflammation, and we are ready for a break. So much so that this has created for ourselves the worst cold we’ve ever known.

Covid-19 didn’t show up completely unannounced, that was the President’s job. But what it did do is wreak havoc on our already taxed immune system. We were ill-prepared, and now we’re just ill…

But the country is looking up with the Presidency of Joe Biden as he prepares to take the Oath of Office on Inauguration Day this Wednesday, 1/20/21. Yay for USA!

Riley’s Cosmic Soiree – Listening Party & Fireside Chat – Bring Your Own Cocktail

Howdy Friends, Fam, and all you Dreamers out there!

It’s a New Year, and I’ve got a proposition for you:


Listen to the sound of the trees rustling in the wind, and the sun warming your skin.

Hear the Moon cry in the night, and the animals fight for their right.

It’s a menagerie of thoughts and ideas abound… a cosmic stage, round and round.

This Thursday you can tune-in to my Cosmic Soiree kicking off at 7PM for a listen of:

Life On Mars…

Listen, reflect, and engage… during my fireside chat with Life On Mars spinning on vinyl and yours truly to walk you through each song…

Fireside Listening Party: Life On Mars on Vinyl

  • Follow @RileyHodgesMusic on Instagram
  • Thursday 1/21/21 7PM: Fireside Listening Party
  • Saturday 1/23/21 2PM: Join as we continue the fun, with a Q&A + a Hoedown of sorts…
You can help us launch this thing the right way, with friends and family despite the distance we all share at the moment.
I'll also announce a release schedule where you can follow along, song-by-song and word-by-word, as we write the Story of "Life On Mars."

Sunday Review: The Roots of Chicha

Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

When I first arrived at Fingerprints Music on Thursday, it was the perfect opportunity.

I had already purchased items online that I was there to pick up, so naturally we browsed some more…

I didn’t know what I was looking for when I eventually made my way to the right side of the store where hip hop, soul, punk and music of the world was written on the name cards separating thousands of vinyl to choose from.

It didn’t take me long to discover what I was looking for:

The Roots of Chicha – Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

Wow, so much yes!

I also didn’t know it until after I joyously showed Melissa my discovery, that she was actually looking for a record of Peruvian Music.

Our search was complete after 20 mins and a brown bag of vinyl to smile about.

When we arrived home, we started drinking some white wine with dinner and dropped that needle:

Side A let’s you know right away that it’s time to dance, so we danced.

Las Cumbias Eres Reál

If Side A were Downtown, maybe Side B is Uptown. Who knows really, it’s all about your imagination.

It’s upbeat, psychedelic, and sacalo!

I promise you that you will smell the food just as much as you will taste the smoke rising from the vibrant cumbias.

Eventually you come to find that it’s past 4am from a night on the town. Blurred lines and colored vibes mark the dreamy landscape that you have come to find.

That 1am strut y bailar now feels like the morning sun because you’ve danced all night and you’re ready to curse the name of your last broken hearted late night booty call.

Side C seems a bit wobbly, indeed the record refuses to lock in place. The groove is definitely all there, and the vibe is everywhere. Maybe you’re still drunk as well.

Wobbly Cumbias

If disc 1 was on land, then we are no longer there.

There’s a wah wah and a guapa to tell you more…

All in all, I give this record special privileges in my collection to play my heart for the passion that I know exists. In a world of misfortunes, this music belongs both among the stars and in our everyday life.

We can bring the cosmic realm all the way down to the ground and shake the night away knowing there’s a world worth dancing for.

Step inside:

Track List:

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