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Ones & Zeros: vol. 0

by 3RDegree

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Connecting 04:53
You play this part in fits and starts Pay no attention to this masquerade Hell what do they know-it's some name you made Hopefully you'll find some refuge from yourself And you know it's too much because you've had that blood rush in your head And you just want to feel again The trolls are out tonight-we'll raise hell again tonight-web weaved well again tonight Why waste time putting up a fight connecting? You just can't quit tonight-you are the shit tonight Connecting for real-not projecting the ideal A scofflaw but what did you steal? Do you know the way to that place where they still touch and talk and feel and breathe? Another day-a thought relayed This is the moment you should not delay A firewall that maybe should be raised-maybe we can find humanity again There is no challenge hiding out beneath the fray Can't feed this ego anymore
Olympia 05:15
Olympia was her name-with a pliable polymer frame The cutting edge of design-the most promising of artificial minds A companion without a need who would follow my every lead And would always-always believe in me Someone to understand-to share a life Someone to help with journey that I'm on Somebody who's always on hand-the perfect wife A supermodel automaton-she's more than an automaton About the third week or so I started to lose control Olympia made demands just like anything else that is sentient She figured out my deepest flaws-she wound me up like a machine She would not be my toy-I'd be her human being Someone to understand-and share a life Someone to help with the journey that she's on Not really the future I'd planned-an uphill climb A high maintenance automaton-she's much more than an automaton Why didn't I shut her down and why is she still around? I guess I started to feel something toggled in my own programming And when I think about what I've done and even more about what I have not I seek forgiveness from Olympia I'm learning to understand-to share a life I finally see how I got it all wrong I'm learning to become a man-with open eyes And a man needs something more than just an automaton-much more than an automaton Olympia
Go far across the great ocean to a place somewhere on a remote island There's a proving ground for a new society Shareholders of a new mankind-while the end is coming for you by and by Because the time has come to say goodbye You'll never stem the tide-who can save us from ourselves? Unless you've got a transcendent mind you don't have a future in our mankind because The future doesn't need you at all Unless you are living inside of my cloud I couldn't even help you if I wanted to now because The future doesn't need you at all Men at one with their technology were content to follow a pathology Soon the world was reassembled for their code Rhythms decided by their new machines with a vision surpassing all your darkest dreams And while your best and brightest would save a few We had a plan for these times-why hadn't you? The march of progress fed by an appetite-a revolution-it cannot be mollified There is no contest-no need to qualify foregone conclusions
I'm an unintended consequence-the result of all your overconfidence You're a victim of your own success I'm the unintended consequence-I'm the cause of all your coming discontent You can plan but you cannot prevent Save your family from a shrinking universe-once the tipping has come there's no return You've changed yourself to be what you've become You'll change everything the sun I'm an unintended consequence when the problem that you're facing is immense And the solution that you implement backfires badly and leads to something worse To the drawing board once more-and that's your curse I'm an unintended consequence-the result of all your overconfidence I'm the unintended consequence-I'm the cause of all your coming discontent I'm the unintended consequence and there's no way to calculate the expense Though you cannot predict when-there's gonna be an unintended consequence
Brochure babies strong and smart-custom features a la carte Look here honey-let's leave nothing to fate They'll soon be sending an insurance rebate Now that it is incentivized, it's time for us to synthesize The perfect baby-the perfect face A perfect runner for the coming race If we can foolproof operations and risky populations No more undesirables-a cause for celebration You've lovely blue eyes but your nose is wrong My legs are sturdy but my feet are too long Your mother's poor vision and my dad's aching back And all up the tree-strokes and heart attacks They'll redesign our DNA and mix it up to conjugate Our children's lives could be enchanted We owe them the advantage Before they miss their chance in line we have an obligation In such extraordinary times a parent sure is in a bind You can't be sitting on a fence-fearing the unintended consequence And soon the perfect generation will lead the strongest nation It's us or them once again-a zero sum equation Perfect babies
And so said God "Let us make man in our image to rule the air and sea over all the earth and all its creatures moving on the ground" The world is cruel-there is famine and disease and the elements too We are at their mercy unless we bring Mother Nature to her knees Why deny what we are? On the brink of a solution-a logical conclusion The best and brightest-all consequence be damned-along with their disciples they manipulate the tree of life to keep up with demand True-only few can survive through the oncoming twilight We only seek the better life we were promised. Why did they all lie? We won't be denied-this is our time Why deny? The more we fight it the more lose control Our appetites are growing-we've been through this all before Our expectations are the flaw-as we circumvent all of nature's laws We will not stop until it's done-what kind of creatures have we become?
Click Away! 15:27
i. POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP (ONE CLICK AWAY) Love, she said-you gotta put that stupid thing down It's fucked with your head-it strips away your soul bit by bit Your biases you hardly can control or even notice A positive feedback loop's in place-where wounds are exposed-passions inflamed with satisfaction just one click away I can't leave my post for fear of missing out on something I'm rapt or exposed-the content's free to get the best of me I'll get my fix-a short-lived release-a rat in captivity-with a positive feedback loop engaged I feel more alone with each friend I make Rejection is just one click away Comes the day when social media feels like a prison-that's when I tune out to take a pause Well I've heard that they're working on an algorithm-guaranteed to subsidize my flaws Link-Subscribe-Opt-in-to the data stream-Brand-Re-brand-Branch out-Work on networking Turn on-Sign in and review-Exercise your voice-Re-share content-Advertise-Earn your bonus points Don't you love me? Love me ii. CLICK FARM To satisfy the daily me-all the ads are customized-to all urges, quantified The apogee of apathy-you must consider every trick to maintain your monthly clicks When profits take a dive-your guestbook's looking dry-it's time to call the click farm We simulate all day-fake traffic to your place-it may not help but it cannot harm You know appearances count-with our little bitty clicks-build your little business You're multi-national now-and you've got a little buzz on social media because You'll have a million hits-now you look serious-and you can thank the Click Farm We used to have a staff-well that's all in the past-we do it now with click bots Thank you click farm-we can optimize your visibility Thank you click farm-and soon you'll be a star iii. ONLY LISTEN TO THIS SECTION IF YOU TRULY WANT WEALTH AND SECURITY Now that we got you hooked, click to see your daily metrics in all their glory You're part of something viral in an upward spiral like a multi-level marketing scheme Refer a friend to us-become a shareholder-click here to spread the gospel Connecting for real-projecting the ideal Are you one of the cool, cool-hunters? Do you follow the cool, cool-hunters? Now that we've got your number there are 5 things that you need to know-just click right here You just won't believe the latest-time to show all the haters that you don't accept their message of fear We'll find out how smart you are-share it with all your friends-click here first for registration The house has the upper hand but winning's not the reason we play Something clicks inside our heads and one to zero something we cannot control But still you'll try to abstain and when you do I'm sure you'll tell us all
Ones & Zeros 07:07
Are you a one-are you a zero? Are you a yes or a no? Are you a sheep-are you a hero stuck in a binary code? Ones and zeros Are you the past? Are you the future? Are you the body or mind? Are you a cell? Are you a circuit? Are you the darkness or light? Are you control or are you chaos? Are you alone or apart? Are you for now? Are you forever? Are you the end or the start? It's always been binary code It's all we've ever known We fall on a continuum It's natural because that's part of who we are It's always been binary code For now and all tomorrows From alpha to omega It's natural because that's always how we thought This magic's only ones and zeros



“She would not be my toy…I’d be her human being” (from “Olympia”)
ONES & ZEROS: the building blocks of A.I. mixed with physical desire…

“Are you a sheep? Are you a hero? Stuck in a binary code” (from “Ones & Zeros)
ONES & ZEROS simplified: on or off…yes or no

“Why deny? The more we fight it, the more we lose control” (from “Logical Conclusion”)
ONES & ZEROS: the self-fulfilling prophecy

These are the things on the mind of 3RDegree that make up its sixth album ONES & ZEROS: vol. 0 and the bookend to 2015’s ONES & ZEROS: vol. 1-their first concept album(s)-now complete. All songs offer a unique take on the issues and ethics associated with the rapid progress of technology. Ray Kurzweil & others have been discussing futurism and transhumanism since the 1970s but only now are we seeing it impact our daily lives. Spearheaded by 1990’s-era members California guitarist Patrick Kliesch & New Jersey lead vocalist/keyboardist George Dobbs, the rest of the band shortly pitched in different songs-all closely associated with the overall theme. As with previous albums, both fully-fledged and skeletal ideas were created and passed between band members via the Internet and worked on in the flesh soon after.

3RDegree circa 2017 continues to embody the musical direction envisioned by “power trio” Robert James Pashman, Patrick Kliesch & Robert Durham in 1991: to create interesting and engaging music that mixes accessible melodies and catchy hooks with the intelligence and complexity of Progressive Rock. Releasing a debut album (on cassette!) with THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE in 1993 (w/Pashman on lead vocals), 3RDegree decided to step up their game in 1995, adding a world-class lead vocalist in George Dobbs and releasing their second album, 1996’s HUMAN INTEREST STORY, which was re-released in 2013, remastered. After playing many live shows in the New York City area gaining little traction, the band hung it up, leaving much material sitting on the proverbial cutting room floor.

Dobbs would continue musical endeavors including solo albums, Pashman and Kliesch would work on projects together and a solo album each apart…but talk of 3RDegree was couched in the past tense until Pashman would make a video collection in 2005, putting together all the band’s music videos and performances onto DVD and basement tapes onto CDs. Discussion of the songs left behind bubbled under throughout that year until the original trio met at a NYC bar where it was agreed upon that the band would record again and later, play reunion concerts at NJ Proghouse in 2007 with original drummer Rob Durham and long time collaborator, guitarist Eric Pseja. 2008 saw the release of NARROW-CASTER (which included the aforementioned songs along with brand new ones) making a big splash in small progressive rock ponds worldwide with the Dutch Progressive Rock Page (DPRP.net) reveling: “It’s not often an album as refreshing as this comes along, and we should treasure it when it does...an album that demands repeated spins, and rewards every listen with some new revelation”. In 2009, new drummer Aaron Nobel joined and the band played shows in Brooklyn (w/Phideaux) & North Carolina’s ProgDay (w/Ozric Tentacles) later finding themselves working on some tracks with two different themes but with election year coming in 2012, the band decided that their political crop of songs would be particularly timely.

THE LONG DIVISION would be released ahead of election day followed by many 2013 mid-year shows culminating in a return visit to ProgDay ’13’s pre-show-all with new lead guitarist Bryan Zeigler. The album’s single “You’re Fooling Yourselves” made the Top 10 Songs Of The Year at DPRP’s yearly poll alongside many, much more “established” bands. In early 2014, the band made an appearance at Québec City’s Terra Incognita Festival (w/Glass Hammer) playing to an enthusiastic audience-3RDegree’s first show outside the USA.

In August 2015, 3RDegree released a new album-ONES & ZEROS: vol. 1-on 10T Records (their last release) and performed live on their first world tour that not only hit the American northeast, but also France (Paris), Germany (Frankfurt), The Netherlands (Rotterdam), & U.K. (London, Leicester, Southampton & Wales) ending at The Summer’s End Festival (w/Pallas). Shows continued into 2016 (with original drummer Robert Durham back in tow) including an appearance at RoSfest in Gettysburg, PA (w/Spock’s Beard). The band continued writing songs related to the “ones & zeros theme” throughout 2016 with the goal of an equally compelling collection to accompany their career pinnacle.


released April 30, 2018


George Dobbs: lead & backing vocals, keyboards, percussion, violin
Robert James Pashman: bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Patrick Kliesch: acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Robert Durham: drums, percussion
Eric Pseja: electric guitar, backing vocals
Bryan Zeigler: electric guitar, backing vocals

Produced by George Dobbs, Robert James Pashman & Patrick Kliesch
Mixed & Mastered by Angelo Panetta
Drums recorded at Panetta Studios & assisted by Dan D'Elia
Drums on "Logical Conclusion" & drum arrangement ideas on "The Future Doesn't Need You" & "Olympia": Aaron Nobel
Tech support: Ed Baumann
Theremin on "Olympia": Sheuh-Li Ong
Co-lead vocal on "Unintended Consequence": Moorea Dickason
Additional violin on "Click Farm": Jay Friedman
Spoken voice on "Perfect Babies": Ava Penelope Pashman

Cover art by Alexandre Kouznetsov
Album design & layout: Eric Pseja

This album is dedicated to the tireless champion of new music: Dewey Gurall

3RDegree thanks:

Angelo Panetta, Aaron Nobel, Liz Tapia, Tom Palmieri, Dan D'Elia, Jon Yarger, Jim Robinson, Alan & Amy Benjamin, Sharon Rodden, Mike Potter, Kevin Barrett, Kevin Pollack, Rita Kay Drew, Mark Colton & Gerald "Mully" Mulligan of Credo, Introitus (Sweden), Matthew Kennedy of Discipline, Mike Sues, Greg Jones, André De Boer, Mark & Rayna Monforti, Michael Jobborn, Kevin Feeley, Fabrice Pieri, Sónya Kücinovich Hill, Spike Worsley, Alex Cruzeta, Steve Swayne, Iris Hidding, Andrew Stenzel, Kira Smith, Bob Cooney, Bob Konig, Bill Lynch, Scott Corcoran, Martin Bergmann, Robert Wolf, Brian Zino, Tom Gagliardi, Kaz Paul, Kevon Fletcher, Brian Watson, Mike Whitfield, …and any of you not mentioned here who attend the concerts and BUY the music-thank YOU!

RJP: Thanks so much to Tatiana, Oliver Winston, Ava Penelope, Majka, Milan Jr., Maria, Milan Sr., Anna, Svetlana, Alyse, Loren, Mom & Dad

BZ: Special thanks to my parents Ray and Jane for letting me grow up in an always eclectically musical household, and to my wife Liz for always being supportive of one more rehearsal or studio session. Also thanks to everyone who has been part of the original music journey that got me here, and of course to 3RDegree for letting me be in their club.

EP: To my other musical coconspirators David Pseja, Doug Mensing, Rich Light, Dan Turdo and Paul Russo, to my wife Lena and my Muses Kaitlyn and Lindsay


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3RDegree New Jersey

We write & record hook-laden progressive rock tunes, have played in 7 countries, put out 6 albums and have been together 30 years.

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