"and I know that this could be more than just flashing lights and sounds"
That's a quote from the chorus of one of post-hardcore's favorite band's songs. Yes I am talking about Thrice. A band that hasn't won a Grammy, was on a major label for three years, and still haven't had a platinum-selling album. To some, that denotes a relatively unsuccessful career. That hasn't stopped the band somehow still being considered an underground favorite, throughout seven scene-defining albums and throes of different fans in the process. They are the kind of band who progresses as you do, so for a generation who may have seen them in a VFW hall one year and MTV2 the next, it's heartbreaking to hear when a band you grew up with is throwing in the towel.
Naturally, it was a bittersweet present, being in the midst of a band on its "Farewell Tour" (that even hurts a little to read). With that in mind, the good sides of loss are reverence and remembrance. To that effect, the dedicated fans of Arizona were ready for some good times.
However, through some kind of misfortune, neither O'Brother or Animals As Leaders made it to the show. I can attest and imagine that this created a lot of disappointment in the group, as many people were there principally for one or both. It's really a shame they couldn't be there to support the headliner or themselves.
The Lucky Man intuition came through in flying colors. Last-minute openers/main support Underground Cities took the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to open for a big-market promotion. Using home field to advantage (hailing from Chandler) and post-rock imaginativeness, the charming stage presence and feel of the vocal-less jams brought an easygoing atmosphere to an (otherwise) frustrated assembly who had been waiting a good hour past the original showtime start for a true opening. UC are a band with a lot of talent and promise, but could use some originality (think of a poor man's Explosions In The Sky) and fluidity in their songs. All the same, for local act to have a chance to rival nationally-recognized talent is a huge accomplishment.
Waiting seemed even longer as fatigue and heat set in, the adjunct to the time it took for the California natives to take the stage. The equally spent fellas wasted no time, upon the lights-killing. It was an interesting set of fan-chosen picks, mine personally would have been a far cry from what was (Identity Crisis and The Illusion of Safety-heavy) but satisfying notwithstanding. Appreciating the songs was easy. This, after all, might have been the last time we would see them live. Heeding the call to sing along was of no spare effort, everyone was encouraged to let the guys know we would miss them. There was no more appropriate choice than "Anthology" for a closer after such a star-studded collection of songs was played. Bands come and go, such as songs, such as meanings, such as life. This little part of part of mine: Thrice, a little part of me will miss for a good while.
I was among good company for this show too. My fond contemporary Justin (who also wrote a lengthy description of his night) along with his stepsister Terra were sprightly and a lot of fun. My sister Brittney, while milking me for all that I'm worth in cash, made me happy to see enjoy (at times) a show again. Us kin don't hang out often so every once in a while it's nice.
Neglecting the pain of 5+ crowdsurfers falling on my head and the caffeine purportedly influencing this report, I type this with a satisfied mind that if only is appreciating the night for what it was and while I am able to. I hope that the next musical presentation comes sooner than later. I'm sure it will be worth divulging in such high volumes as this.
I'm not about to compare my stiff neck and headache to the pain the New York Yankees must be feeling losing their prized closer Mariano Rivera to a torn ACL injury. As with any pains or setbacks, there can always be worse. Who am I to complain, I've been to three shows (hopefully it'll be four) in two weeks, five in a month. Tonight I was lucky enough to catch the fourth date of The Ophidian Trek.
You tend to hurry up just to wait, and that was the case for Adam and I. The trip to The Marquee being concise, we were met to very few fans a mere half hour before doors. Once we were inside, the late crowds began to tend to the venue, the decidedly older mob of fans guzzling beers, younger ones buried in their phones, the waiting game was left.
It was well worth it. Death Metal mavens Decapitated began the diverse offering with pummeling cuts from their latest album Carnival is Forever. On the opposite, they entertained older standards such as "Spheres of Madness". Overall for Decapitated probably not being used to playing half an hour every night (usually they'd be headlining their own tour) they injected much-needed energy to a soft audience.
Once again, I got a soft spot for main support, this time the riff-heavy Prog titans Baroness being the subject of the matter. The loudest set by far, John Baizley and the gang exploded onto the collective conscious with the far-out jams from Blue Record. Picking up where that left off, after a bevy of treats from that album, we were endowed with a new cut from the upcoming Yellow/Green. I was also happy they closed with "Isak" off of Red. Super flashy and noodly set. They deserve your attention.
Meshuggah. Wow. Not only am I convinced that even at their age, they are somehow tireless, but I also assumed that these Swedish masters of rhythm must know some sort of trick to keep your head banging. They came right out the gates with every "hit" and album nod you could think of, Koloss tunes fitting right in. About twenty songs in, you're wondering, "Aren't they tired?", as if their elaborate stage decorations weren't impressive enough! It was truly a sight to see a band that has not only been active but dominantly successful since the early 90s! Meshuggah continue to prove their worth and mark their genre-specific territory. I am glad to have seen them before I die.
As great as this concert was alone, it wouldn't have been as seamlessly enjoyable if I wasn't accompanied by a friend. Thanks, Adam!
I know a lot of you liked my last write-up, and want you to know I don't do this for any credit or accolades of any sort. Though it is the nature of social networking to share and expect something in return, it should also simply be enough compensation that you are able to share to begin with. Doing so helps me synthesize my thoughts to write out loud and for people to potentially be entertained or even affected to the smallest degree, it gets me off. I don't know where writing will pencil itself into my life permanently. Don't necessarily expect more from me, after Thrice, my show future is uncertain. I'll start blogging again, or write privately I'm sure. I care that you've cared enough to read this far, that's all that matters to me. Thanks.
For the Arizona stop of the Say Anarchy Tour, I got to drive my sisters car to it. Not much that's notable about that, other than her car is newer and more "boxed" (if you will) whereas mine is kinda long. Felt like I was driving in a box with wheels.
Anyway, I'll start with the infamous Marquee Theatre. Overlooking the long line where no one I knew or recognized stood or sat, I quickly did my ticket business and kept to myself. It was full of many young, attractive people, women being the majority. I imagine no one over 30 was at the show. After the initial wait and crowd gathering, we were entertained by an obese man picking up a guitar, presumably for sound check.
Turns out the dude had pipes. He was the lead singer for the band Tallhart. Their quick but memorable set provided a lot of singalong tunes and a tight southern modern rock demeanor. Only thing that bugged me was the God complex, it felt like I was watching a mix between Manchester Orchestra and Colour Revolt. They were good though.
Fake Problems, I was kinda pulling for them. They impressed me with Real Ghosts Caught On Tape and It's Great to Be Alive but it didn't really translate great live. Points for stage presence, they needed this tour.
It was invigorating seeing the ever-sincere Kevin Devine. He had a good hour to sift through his vast palette of tunes, and The Goddamn Band has never shown so brightly with him. Notice I say 'with' and not 'behind' because the true equalizer for his songs' effectiveness lied within their grooves, solos, and feel. Favorites from Brother's Blood and even the old gem, "Cotton Crush" were jammed-out to the point that one could tell these were seasoned guys, and Brooklyn is a huge reference point for their style.
Everyone sustained their energy for Say Anything. Surprisingly the amount of fans in AZ is staggering, kinda odd but once you see them you see why. From the opening chords of "Spidersong", rabid fans began jumping and singing about. Max and the gang tirelessly churned out favorite after charming favorite, even rare bits such as "A Walk Through Hell", as well as the obvious new jams from Anarchy, My Dear. Personal highlights included seeing a William Beckett look-alike and every other singer from the previous bands belt out the taunting chant in "Belt". "Every Man Has His Molly" was ace, and watching the adorable interplay with Bemis and his wife, Sherri during "So Good" brought the "aw" out of awesome.
It became clear to me during the impenetrable live rendition of "Alive With the Glory of Love" that this was the kind of show you bring your girl to. All around were couples singing the sentimental chorus, holding hands all exuberant. The overall tone of the show was laid back enough for the ladies, rocking enough for the dudes. For some reason the douchery was petty in full, as drunkards started a lot of pits at a show that needed none whatsoever.
In conclusion and as long as this came to be, I have only the memory of good music tonight. I was uncharacteristically quiet around everyone, not sure if it was shyness alluding to the sheer number of women present that got me or the lack of initiative one gets from a friend, a catalyst for comfort in meeting new people. Whatever it was, I got in, got out and here I am. Nonetheless, while I may not necessarily be Alive With the Glory of Love per se, I am alive and grateful for it. You can thank whatever deity you believe in for me. Thanks for reading all this.
So one of my horoscopes for this day says I will be quite the successful communicator, I have a lot on my mind I guess, and it's been almost two months since I've written something publicly, and those are my reasons for now exposing my mind. Oh and being a little buzzed again (as I tend to be, in writing lately -_-) helps too. Alcohol: the real truth serum. While I won't release top secret information about anything regarding anything of particular interest to anyone, I will, however, entertain you for the next five to ten minutes or however long it takes you to read this. Disclaimer: expect vulgarity, sexual explicitness, and roughly-edged opinion.
Opining first, be it on the matter of desire. Over this short time, I've done nothing but, in various ways. Desire with fear, at first, apprehensive to begin, to control something again. Next, desire of the physical nature. Sexual frustration has me graveling at the feet of pornography, dirty thoughts, and masturbation. Nothing excessive, I'm not obsessed with either of the former, I suppose I'm just doing well enough to keep me from being desperate and making a bad decision as to use someone for physical nurturing, and I don't support that. Otherwise, desire has kept me afloat. It has led me to a true direction, laying down the path for what I'm starting to want, all the ins and outs, the whole shebang. For once, I can truly shape the figure of what I'm working towards. Maybe it'll end up a dream and I'll eventually settle, but there's no fun in that. If I'm dedicated, I obviously want all that comes with what I'm putting into it. My passion is growing by the day, for all things I love. I realize that neither them nor I will be here in this world for long, so my love and desire is either do or die. No more "one foot in the door" business, I did that enough. In summary, my desire, I reckon it's pretty shameless and unforgiving right now. That's just my opinion.
It's great to be living these days. Amidst a financial crises, a large majority of America in displeasure, (see: Occupy "movement") and the long-awaited return of our troops from Iraq by the end of this year makes it a truly conflicting feeling to be a proud citizen of the United States. Not to mention the upcoming election year, with the current "Tea Party" going on strong among some dissatisfied Republicans and the Democrats still clinging to the "change" brought upon by this term's president, Barack Obama. All are pining for an end to the constant dips of our ever-changing worth as well as environmental concerns, the seemingly endless threat of terrorism and alternate economic systems that don't jive well among the prevailing ways of today's superpowers (all up for debate respectively). Combine that with fear of "irresponsible" countries making potential steps towards owning weapons of mass destruction (we're looking at you, Iran) and carefully supporting the slew of other countries uprising their own tyrannic governments, sometimes twice (ahem, Egypt), and you've got yourself quite the tense world. So often us U.S. folks are so preoccupied with our own problems that we can't even begin to start considering the Earth's as a whole. As a fellow (not always, admittedly) concerned human being, I just suggest being aware of today's happenings. The only thing we can do is continue to live our lives how we see fit, and while that may not always be the correct way, we must know that our decisions affect the people around us, and so on. I know that change can happen, that we are not controlled by any force but fate, and that every human may not be born, taught, or fortunate enough, but bleeds the same. /end rant
Now Manswers is on, I'm learning more through my male eyes. Things like: what kind of bed is best for sex (water bed, apparently) or how likely a girl is to have sex with you based on her natural hair color. Pays off to be a man sometimes; though I must admit, I rarely have been able to use the knowledge I've attained from said show, with the exception of, "beer before liquor makes you sicker".
I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was fantastical, mine was fair to midland. Great once I had time to enjoy it. Props to those who braved and are still braving the dreaded Black Friday. I assume the deals are worth the mobs of impatience and selfish, desperate shopping involved. I guess smiles at Christmas is that important anymore.
I know I haven't been seen for a while by a lot of you, and in the meantime I also have come to terms with recognizing my assholedom across the board. I'm going to take this space to say I'm sorry. If I haven't been particularly easy to deal with, said things that hurt your feelings, or straight-up made you feel ignored, this is me catching the moment and seeing it for what it was and how I was in the wrong doing so. My friends, know that I love every single one of you, and I'm forced to take sides sometimes, and sometimes that has to be mine. I only ask that you can still accept me for who I am and I thank you for your patience in this extending time that has taken over, me hopefully getting my shit together. I've been a bitch, weak, and negligent. I'm going to be strong, outgoing and confident, and it starts now. I want to be one of the best men in your life. Whether it be as a good friend, a confidant, or whatever else. I promise I will not abuse what you give to me, nor take you for granted, nor intentionally try to make our relationship less than positive. At the same time, I'm a single, straight male, ladies. I need to be told when I cross a line. Further containment of my flirtations are subject to review. ;)
Holy shit, I almost forgot about my signature music recommendations:
Bon Iver- s/t (finally I got to sink into this, I am clinically obsessed with the most recent song I posted, "Beth/Rest", otherwise an exceptional album start to finish)
Boris- Attention Please and Heavy Rocks (two of the three albums released by the popular Japanese band this year. not nearly their best but still show shades of awesome)
The Drums- Portamento (mostly dark and cold, it's still some of the best pop I can imagine coming out the U.K., though surprisingly they're based in Ohio)
Gil-Scott Heron & Jamie XX- We're New Here (a stylistic clash of old and new, and a great homage to the late social speaker through a modern language)
King Krule- s/t EP (this Brit has a voice and lyrical chops to make you really wary of what he has in store for us in the future)
Lady Gaga- Born This Way (I know I just put this album down, but Burk was right, it is better than her two previous efforts on their own)
Radiohead- TKOL RMX 1234567 (at times better than the actual album, at times insinuating a bastion of "whys", it's still awesome to see how some of the digital greats interpret these master's songwriting)
Thrice- Major/Minor (to me, it's either going to be a major disappointment or a minor hiccup, it's just not clicking with me so far. their recently announced hiatus doesn't help either)
Zombi- Slow Oscillations Remix EP (Zombi is tops, and people can't make their song worse apparently)
I'm ready to be done with this year, it's definitely made every possible emotion a satisfied one. That's just life. I'm glad I'm still here to see the light off of every angle of the prism. I look forward to 2012's good and bad. How for now desire, emotion, and caution are the forefront, I will not put essential priorities in the backseat. This is not arrogance, it's hope, it's willingness. I'm your equal, and I am humiliated with my past and future wrongdoings. None the wiser, but will take wisdom with progress. We're all growing, becoming, seizing opportunity together. With compassion and sacrifice, there is a way.
It's funny how the things that inspire you never get old. Something that moves you to the point of inspiration always has lasting value, whether it sprung a certain feeling in you for a moment, or a change for a lifetime. And we keep going back to those inspirations, we put them on a pedestal, as if we can blame them for instigating the change it took to become what we are now, a progression. Some can argue that we must become the change we want to see, and that's entirely right. All the same, in order to have the desire to change, we must see what is wrong with the present in the first place. The acknowledgement of discrepancies in the present is the first step in assuming the future, how you go about it. We're all going through that sort of thing. If we were happy with how and who we are, we wouldn't care at all how we will be. We'd burn out brighter, more negligent of correct choices now. If we truly are happy at any given time, then it would be safe to say that we wouldn't fear death as much, we wouldn't focus as much on our shortcomings or regrets, and we wouldn't have anything to look forward to. I'm saying that it's okay to be unsatisfied with life. As long as your purpose is to become something more than you are, or at least an improved version of what you are, whether you make it to that point or not, it's all pointless. The true breakthrough is being hellbent on taking that journey, riding the bull, seeing where it takes you. You have every right to live your life paralyzed and indifferent. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. Fortunately, what civilization has come down to is that you must first find what your purpose is and then do everything in your power to fulfill that. Then your life is over, and well, you were a blip on the radar of life. That doesn't mean you were worthless or left no legacy. It means you did what any human being can do in its own lifetime: try. We're a trying species. We may never meet perfection in our lives or our children's (and so on). As long as we try to progress as humanity, however, we may actually find a palpable limit to what we can accomplish and become. We can't say we're done evolving, and we don't know enough to know that there is still is much to know. That comes back to inspiration. An inspired person is a dangerous one. An educated, focused tour de force with biased intent. You can't stop the feeling of inspiration. It's wholly unique and true to you. Your mind cannot deny it and why would it want to? It's a sliver of confidence in something, as well as yourself. It's a leap of faith that feels like a sure thing. Pass it on.
Yeah, it's been a while. A long while.
September was a long month indeed. I cared too much, I didn't care enough, I blamed myself (and continue to do so), I blamed others. I followed my lead of going through the motions and I carried on with and without a passenger. Some people listened, some people don't know, the same amount don't care. That's okay because nothing is worth bringing up again. Things are the way they are, and yeah, I'm still having a rough time of accepting them but I can't change how life unfurls, and I can't be pissed that it's not unfurling the way I'd particularly desire. It's all menial and annoying to think about, but this is part of my progression. Sometimes I think I'm putting myself through mental and emotional pain just to be immune to it in the future. I'm starting to realize though that in life, everything happens the same way. It's what stage of life your in, what point of view your at that is the deciding factor in how your case is closed. It's not how you handle a situation, it's who you are at that given time, what your approach is by default and how you know to solve the problems you can. No one has "all the answers" but after a while you'll have accumulated enough information that it's all relative in the end. Just like adopted skills, you can apply anything you learn to the 'real world'. After a while you're supposed to "get it" and it's all supposed to mean something. I guess this is me saying that I'm one step closer but still far and away from "getting it". I admit, I lost a lot of who I thought I was and could become. Now what I've found is a niche of who I am, and a better idea of what belongs in that niche. I'm still working on it, but Rome wasn't built in a day. As my life dwindles, I'll find more answers that would have been useful in my youth. But not taking the time to learn them, is that worse?
It could just be the alcohol talking, but I think I'm a better writer when I'm buzzed. Not sure if that's a good thing. I think it's about six days straight now, that alcohol has been in my system on a nightly basis. I haven't been a friend to my liver, but my mind sure can handle a lot more shit than usual for the time being. It's okay, pretty soon I'll probably take a break from drinking so much and it'll just be another aging part of my life to look upon. For now though, it has been quite a comfort.
Here's something for everyone to take less seriously: music.
Thomas Giles- Pulse (listening to this as I type. deep and saturated, just what I expected from the BTBAM frontman. good)
Panda Bear- Tomboy (just lovely soundscapes sprinkled with a Brian Wilson soundalike, but a great one)
Maria Taylor- Overlook (best album a chick has put out this year. i don't even mean that subjectively)
Touche Amore- Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me (these guys have truly found their comfort zone. and how uncomfortable it actually is is what makes it so real and human and great)
Weatherbox- Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar EP (how i feel can be summed up in a Weatherbox song. i don't need to be critical of anything else when listening to music)
The Weeknd- House of Balloons (R&B for hipster kids. A voice with good vibes to back it up)
Moving Mountains- Waves (post-rock with vocals. that you can feel and understand. need i say more?)
Neon Indian- Era Extrana (chillwave? it's just a special word for people who love their relaxation at maximum equalization. try it sometime)
Memory Tapes- Player Piano (real chill. and interesting when it needs to be)
Patton Oswalt- Finest Moment (not music, but hey it's a comedy album. Patton is a genius at comedy, if you can't laugh at anything he says, you have no soul)
Yeah so as I'm trying to figure out life and all the whys and hows and at the same time trying to adopt the man I must grow to love and accept as the future me, I hope all of your lives are just as transitional and on their way to the greatness of you. If you've found what your looking for, embrace it.
By now I've probably exhausted your eyes by just trying to make you read this mess. For this I am not sorry, after all you subjected yourself to this and I've spent a good (half an?) hour just contemplating and submitting myself to this. If you've ever wondered who I really am or what I'm thinking, here's a good start. If not, you must be one of my friends. Hah, don't worry, I still care more about who you are than what I am to you. Being a supplement to your life is all just gravy, really. It means my purpose is being fulfilled, at least in part. Now, to find a woman to imprint my signature upon, that is a challenge surely. This paint is still wet, and it's waiting to be spread.Are you that canvas? I'd like to find out. If not, that's fine. Stay anonymous, just an unrealized fantasy in my mind. There's enough room for that in there.
Dear my friends: one day I'll take everything I took from you and use it to create a monster of experience and ability like none this world has ever seen. I'll see your influence through. I'll make your legacy proud.
Hey! It's me again. Nothing has changed. Hair still ridiculously long, still cherubic and generally physically hit or miss unattractive. Still at a crossroads in my mind. Fortunately things could always be worse, so who am I to complain?
It's been hard for me to talk. Even in this way, this much. I don't know what to say about anything anymore. Not that my focus has been deterred, if anything it's been strengthened. I just...don't have a valid opinion to stick behind. I guess I'd rather admit that I don't know than exercise my knowledge openly. It could just be that I don't argue as much, being under submission without much concern. So if this ends up a little confusing and nonsensical, trust me, I'm trying to wrap my head around it as well.
Eh, let's start with something easy to talk about: MUSIC!
GOODGOODGOODGOODGOOD stuff has finally started to sink in, and I've listened to a lot of fucking music lately. It's unhealthy almost. Nah, never. Shall we?
Fucked Up- David Comes To Live (more punk rock than you can ever need in a year. not to say that there's not any other essential albums of the genre [see: Iceage- New Brigade] in the 2011 family, but Fucked Up continue to push the limits of hardcore like no other band does)
Maritime- Human Hearts (feel-good album of the year. so far.)
Foster The People- Torches (undeservedly too popular if you ask me, but then again that kind of music is meant to be. here's to living up those 15 minutes, guys.)
Born Of Osiris- The Discovery (Tech/Prog/Death that took me a while to come around to. but was it worth the wait...)
Battles- My Machines [single] (worth the instrumental version, as well as the B-side, "A.M. Gestalt")
Hands- Give Me Rest (i don't care if they're a christian band, this album is the missing link between post-metal and post-hardcore)
Honorable Mention: Dredg- Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy (positively boring. and that's being nice. but there are a couple of gems)
It's been a great year for music.
It's been a great year for a lot of things. It's all the same. Good things happen, bad things happen. Bad things usually overshadow the good. Good things are fed into "progress" and society trends one way or the other, any extremes only exist to document and make strides meeting somewhere together in the middle and disintegrate. Life ends. Life goes. Existence sustains behind various backdrops. Foes soon become friends. Friends keep their enemies close. Competition, along with supply and demand stabilize a deteriorating comfort of available resources while technology strives to bring about answers to a never-ending bastion of humanity's questions. And we'll never know what it all means. And we'll unwillingly force ourselves forward. And we'll all try to make the best of what's given to us.
I've been really moody lately, a jerk, asshole, defiant- if you will. And I don't feel bad about it. That feels good to say.
Which brings me to the heart of this shit. The nitty gritty. Not that I have secrets, or shit that I've had to get off of my chest. It's the constant pressure I put on myself to deal with unimportant issues. I resist to seek attention, but you never hear of notorious attention-seekers without their own problems. I'm just uncomfortable. One big insecurity that has leeches sucking out my confidence. Where did it go? I need it back. I'm ready to love. I have too much of it to keep to myself. I'm not looking for a ring on my finger or a spit image. As a matter of fact I'm not even looking. I don't even know how deep I want to go. Love is blind, and I already have a fold over my eyes, a handicap. I just want connection, feeling, physical torture, tension two people can't deny. I am not this hellbent on self-validation. I was born to co-exist. It's my insignia, written on my face, the heart on my sleeve. I'm entirely co-dependent in every way. It's a sure fire weakness, it's a slow-burning affirmation, it's a constant thought in my head!
Okay, maybe I'm not the best person to be alone in a post-apocalyptic world. And this bitch-fest was long-coming. I've just been anxious to explode, and doing it this way prevents you from seeing the defeated look on my face as I'm sitting Indian-style on a bed full of memories and enough springs to suspend this heavy mind and body. I'd like to think my heart is just that big but I'm not about to pull it out. Haha.
Anyway, I'm just tired of making myself feel like a loser all the time. It's the kind of thinking that pushed the one girl I loved away, the entire ignorance of what greatness I had in front me. She let me go for all the right reasons, I am a self-proclaimed nervous wreck and it's better that I won't be making her life harder for any foolish reason. It's a lesson I'm not comfortable learning right now. It's much easier to be negative. I need to be a little harder, get a little less sleep at night. Learning the hard way is the best way. I can't make mistakes again.
I'll tell you what, I'm making you a promise. I'll keep looking forward to the next day. I may not be satisfied with this one, but the whole gist of this life thing is that over time you see the big picture and it gets better. Like what they tell gay and lesbian folks who are facing animosity. I'm no homosexual or homophobe but that statement is indeed true. Once I start skipping my blue period for roses and mixed cd's for ladies again is when I see myself being on the right track. Everything else is just gravy, it's occupations, it's work. Love is the dream. It's all you need. I'm not desperate, and I'm still very young. But life is short and I have a whole hell of a lot to give.
It's just a shame that this is as far as my confidence goes.
Tonight I'm not sure if I have it in me. I'm not sure if I can type another 900+ -word opus like I have been. Not like I'm not feeling it, this one I felt was coming. I just feel well, despondent, empty. Like all the words in the world won't describe how just being here in my room makes the outside world seem light years away. Or how I'm sleepy, horny, and restless all at once. Well in the spirit of the night, here it goes...
It's hard to believe school is starting already. It's that way every year though, people act like summer is some sort of magical gift that is given to us for opportunity and promises of less responsibility and more insubordinate gestures. Well I guess it is so dammit if you have to institutionalize again sometime this month. I can say that I certainly miss when school was the center, hell, supporting actor of my life's stanza at the time. It's been three years since I've had to be educated (according to the expectations of employers at least) and in those I've most certainly learned much, but I still am far behind my contemporaries as far as any collegiate entry-level "regular joe" goes. I must go back someday.
Here is where I would routinely ramble on about how my week has been nothing but booze, bars, and bros. Not this week. In between days, I do have alternate routes. I try to eat well, albeit less lately. I exercise more, although the beer has been offsetting it. Practicing my bass skills and thinking before I act or speak, all things that carry on throughout this I'm-a-wreck dogma I've been jockin' as of late.
Bros have been the key. All of my friends, they've helped me see the in's and out's of my internal struggle, as well as their own. As much as I've learned about myself in the last month-and-a-half I've learned about so many of my dearest kind. Perspective isn't the principal here, it's all how they deviate from each other. How every one of the people I interact with live about themselves, it's been humbling at the least. It makes me wonder what niche I belong in. If one of my crony's mission in life is to create a comfortable lifestyle for themselves in a constant, another may be that they want to destroy everything they were only to create themselves anew, in that finding their constant. I can understand why as we get older we tend to absorb what we love into our own homeostasis, it has to fit our conduct. It's our way of compromise, taming the free of all that is, so that in our own way we can control and understand it. It's comforting.
You know what else is comforting? A sweet tune:
David Bazan- Strange Negotiations (pretty good so far)
The Format- Dog Problems (yep, still listening)
Fun.- Aim and Ignite (glad I finally got around to this too)
Converge/Dropdead- split (awesome)
I'd love some tips on using music software to create. I'd rather be making songs on actual instruments but it'd be cool to get a hold of one of those things and make something neat. Anyone out there with a fairly simple program, hit me up.
Johnee was right, I need to get out of here for a while. I don't need to run from anything, I need to simply discover. I've been holed up in this tri-city for most of my life, declining to abscond out of fear. I have done nothing but play it safe, very rarely do I take my chances with things. If you ask me, I think that's what's kept me out of trouble and is upkeeping the reputation I withhold today. The problem being, that reputation might as well be a flag for the self-sheltered, arrogant, blasphemous stiff that I am. I can't begin to find comfort in that. I look at all of my heroes, and they all share one golden trait: they were consistent, they progressed. I have to progress, I have to go Rush or Pink Floyd on everyone's ass. I've already started. I need to stride on the path of my destiny. I need to get out of this foxhole I've dug out of cowardice and complacency. I've got nothing to run from. Bridges still to burn possibly, ghosts to be put to rest. That's the trip though, isn't it? The journey. The trials and hardships, they're complementary.
I can't let them stop me. I know tonight I'm going to curl up into a forced slumber, being jealous of my male competitors and how they might have a bigger dick than me or are more gifted at pleasing women. I'll try to neglect that it's my ex-girlfriends' birthday all day and think about nothing but her and my shameful guilt, all the while save face for my friends and family and live my whole day and wonder what's next, probably in the same place, around the same time. I can't let all that foil the bigger picture of my existence. There won't be any bouncing back, I'm not going to have a lucky streak. I'm going to accept my deficiencies, be proud of what I am and have. It'll be instantaneous. I won't even realize what hit me. Whatever is keeping me awake at night is going to put me to sleep one day, because it'll be a dream of once was or what may have never been.
I'm really investing in the truth in that statement.
Being 4:16 AM as I'm typing this intro is setting up the perfect timing for my bloggerifficness. I don't know, I guess I just feel like writing again. Nothing came up, nothing happened. Maybe that's what it is, I'm disillusioned into thinking that some magical feelings or opportunities will come to light when I feel they should, which coincidentally is all the time. Don't blame me for being so impatient, it's just my nature. Sometimes I can be too patient, which is just a reflection of my previous thought. I hate waiting. I hate it.
Falling asleep to Jimmy Eat World tonight. 265 or so odd songs of goodness, yeah it's one of those nights. I need to wake up to that shit, I need a dose of who I can really never get tired of for some reason. They were the tightest band I've ever seen live, they really back their shit up. I know they're not exactly Meshuggah, but those dudes are still going at it, and well.
Keeping the jam alive hopefully. Stez is seemingly confident that he and Houston and Ben and I can meld something together throughout August and possibly kick live rocks in September. Time will tell but I need to see those guys on stage again, whether I'm involved or not. Also happy to say that Kept Alive has gotten back to practicing. Our last one went really well, we're really confident in our abilities and at this point are ready to rock even more when we can. Alas, time is always against us. If you want a copy of our first EP, hit me up.
Music a-blarin' lately in my head:
The Format- Dog Problems (a fucking masterpiece in every way)
The Beatles- White Album (it's the remastered stereo cd, I just wanted it for the higher quality rip as well as the enhanced extras, which lasted a whole 5 MINUTES by the way. not worth $21)
Country music- (yeah it's a soft spot, especially when i'm all emo and shit, which has been me a lot lately)
Saves The Day- Under the Boards (awesome album to drown yourself to)
HIM- everything (also some woe-is-me bullshit music that makes me feel good that i'll never be as bummed as Ville Valo has been in his life)
Not really any metal- (i know, i've been a straight-up pussy lately. i'll bounce back, there's too much good metal i'm missing.)
What's been really contributing to such unacceptable behavior has to be my lack of confidence. Yeah, it comes from within, no one can make it show but yourself, yadda yadda. Look, I can see it in other people. I can feel it when I want to. The pure distaste of my thoughts has led me to believe that once again, my positive tendency to believe myself is indeed dwindling, and it's pouring into all the facets of my life. Nowhere is there a place or social situation where I feel I have somewhat control over how I come across and how my actions describe my feelings. This lack of control also begs the question that maybe I can't back up who I truly perceive myself to be. At this point I'm rambling, yes, but hell it's my blog.
So to hell with myself right now. I see now where my lackluster efforts have taken me: back to square one. Every day I'm thinking, get your shit together, no one wants someone who can't even figure themselves out. The truth is, I feel more at peace with who I am when someone is there accepting me that way. Maybe it's that way with everyone, you find comfort in knowing somebody actually "gets" you. That's one thing I miss. I've never had to explain myself fully to anyone, on the surface I bare it all. I have no mystery whatsoever. It took someone to really just not ever ask those questions and take me at face value to make me feel like who I was, was indeed that person. Everyone can read me at the same angle because that's how I want you to know me. Never can I simply just filter everything I am into one thing. I'm everyone, at once. So for someone to make me feel comfortable, it's the greatest feeling. I fit in people's lives, no one fits in mine. I love and hate that.
Before I drag you further into the dark dungeon of my muddied soul, I just want to say that the Josh you know is, has been, and always will be the same. I will change what I am to you maybe, but never who. Right now I'm against the ropes and weak-minded. That doesn't mean I want to be felt sympathy for or taken advantage of. Those are unreal solutions to a transparent problem. I'm just wanting to find what everyone else desires: knowledge, wealth, love, and happiness. My heart and my head are in a constant battle to know what is more important at the time. It's all just an over-saturation of conflict, emotion, and priorities. I don't want an answer necessarily, I know what it will take to get what I want. I am dutifully looking forward to the day when I have closure from my wrongdoings, a promising future, am free from convictions and have progress from determination. A hand to hold wouldn't hurt either.
My late night streak is at an all-time high apparently. Back home from another cool night out, this time an unexpected visit to The Drift mid-week with Mario. All in all, another jam packed day full of nothing but a full mind and music and work and friends. If this is how life is supposed to go when you can truly do whatever you want, it's still only a slice of a very large pie.
I'll admit, I kind of have been drinking pretty often. Maybe it's just sinking in that this is the extent of fun and communal socializing once you're at the ripe age of twenty-one. Or it could be that this kind of lifestyle is wholly new to me and I'm not sure how to go about it. All my adolescent-to-young-adult life has been absorbing others' experiences with a grain of salt, as if I truly couldn't accept that what they were telling me did happen, could. I'm starting to learn of their truths, and am seeing the ways of others feeling so close to home and palpable. I won't ever become an alcoholic, but when you really think about not wanting to think about anything anymore, it sure as hell helps.
In my mind, where my confidence lies. You know this rant of my want and hopes to be a musician, and how things could really be how I see them being, I still believe in that. This whole week I still haven't written anything, but I still jot down ideas when I can, I still have that faint gleam of hope in the back of my mind that I have it in me to pay homage to my heroes in my own way, if not bring something new to the table. The fact that I have people that have a shred of interest in my little ability to play bass or to write music, the fact that for once I have younger people appreciating me as a musician, it's all very inspiring. It makes me feel like I have something worth living for. Something to prove to myself.
Proving myself has always been a struggle. Being a stingy procrastinator, growing up typically inactive and not realizing my intellectual potential has been all the bulk of an internal battle. I mean, I can't complain. No one's making me kill to live, I'm not poor or unfortunate, I'm relatively healthy and sane, and I have many people that love me. Those things alone are why I wonder why I still am so jealous that everyone can bitch and get away with it and I'm butthurt all day about the things that I really shouldn't let get to me. I'm a very lucky man, still, and I can never take that for granted. That's why I'm trying to improve areas in my life, why I can't simply just bitch to people about my problems. They're just normal problems, boo-fucking-hoo. I don't live in a war-torn area, I'm not in danger at most given times, I am just plain lucky to be living so well.
But fuck me if all I think about are women, music, sex and my ex. Time will pass, pretty soon I may actually focus on what really should be important in my life. I need to go back to school for fuck's sake, it's been almost three years. I need to get my life together, I'll truly be the lonely man that I'm so worried about becoming if I can't make change now, while I still can, while I'm young and have the energy, opportunity and drive to make a decent life for myself and whoever will come along in it. That internal struggle will never go away, but on the outside I can put up some real walls, I can tear them down. I need to do those things before it's too late. Before everything I've aspired becomes wishful thinking of the past.
Well that's enough of this week's spilling-my-heart-onto-my-keyboard session. Today's my only day off, what should I do? I'm thinking I need to finally watch the new Harry Potter. Closure would be good. Might do a double header and watch Horrible Bosses while I'm at it. I'll for sure jam too with all of my fancy pedals that I love tweaking my tone through. Listening to Dog Problems on vinyl finally will be an experience too.
Speaking of music:
Jimmy Eat World- Bleed American (one of my favorite summer albums. I just relate this time to it, and it doesn't let me down. ever.)
The Gaslight Anthem- The 59' Sound (essential modern-day retro rock. essential)
Circle Takes The Square- everything (can't wait until these guys put out their new shit. such a cool band)
Amy Winehouse- Back To Black (I didn't really like this album but it's worth a spin, at least in reverence to a young lost soul)
Thanks to anyone who came to the show at the YMCA on Saturday. I just wish there were more eager faces who have yearned to hear live music, regardless of it being played by second-rate musicians and first-rate Globe-Miami kids.
Tonight I'm not beating the bush. It's 4:30 and I'm about to sleep like a baby. My dreams; wet, dry, day or night will have at least one of you in them. Thanks for all of my friends being my friends because I would hate life without you. I look at it this way: the future is a lot less scary when you got someone to see it through with you.
And I hate being alone.
So I'm having this discussion with myself and it raises the question: Is instrumental music (eg. post-rock, electronica, classical, ambient, etc.) meant to be enjoyed as the center of your attention or just background noise? On one hand you could say the musician/musicians intended to make their music in dedication to a certain feeling or emotion, therefore intending it to be a soundtrack, rather than the story. Music can be visual too, so you can also argue that said musicians playing their music live are not exhuming art from themselves, they are simply painting the canvas of what the experience of live music is. I'd like to know you're opinion. When you listen to say, Sigur Ros for instance, it's not like you know what Jonsi is saying (needless to say I don't think he does either) but you're still feeling what their songs evoke to you. I know when I listen to the album Takk... I am soaking in some otherwordly beauty that words cannot describe. All the same, I can tell you that when I listen to Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" I am doing the exact same thing. His case is made with words. I guess my point is, where is the line drawn between what music is and what it's intended to be. Shit, I can answer that. The listener.
Had a couple of decent nights out this weekend. Friday turned out to be pretty uneventful but Saturday was alright at The Drift. Between my delectable choice of alcoholic beverages there was conversation with people I knew and ones I barely met. Livin' the dream bro! Nah it wasn't that bad. No matter what, I broed down with my buddy Mario for a couple nights, and that was worth the trips. But damn was the music too loud at times.
I had a great time making my good friend Johnee a mixed CD the other day and as a treat to who reads this (as well as my recent obsession with High Fidelity even though I don't have tapes or every record in the world at my disposal) I figured that making you one would be a cute little thing I could give as an expression of my friendship and appreciation of patience as go through the motions online. So if you're interested, I have many a song spanning different genres (you can be specific of what you like) and years and about 90 blank CDs that are otherwise being made as Kept Alive EPs that are also available if interested. Just send me a message, pm, or text. My number is in my info on this.
Spent my only day off doing mostly nothing, and you know what, it felt good. Spent some video-gaming time with my cousin Joel who I've neglected to hang out with for the majority of his visit here in sunny 'ol Globe. There are some days that are better spent not going anywhere and just being in the company of your family. With hesitance, I type this with a sigh.
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart- Belong (becoming the summer album of '11 for me)
August Burns Red- Leveler (ABR never disappoint)
Dr. Dog- Shame, Shame (came out last year, just another chapter in the story of one of the best bands to listen to whenever)
Iceage- New Brigade (posted about this earlier this week. needs to be heard)
I can't believe it's already going to be 3:00 AM. I mean, damn. Time flies when you're kicking back with a Mike's Hard Lemonade while constantly refreshing your phone all the while being a mole throughout Facebook or entwining textual and visual information throughout the internet's dark, musty corners that are inevitably shared.
Well I'm off for the night. I gotta get ready for a show I'm going to:
Oh the songs in my head right now. Was slapped by nostalgia earlier with "Sloop John B", got stuck in my head all day. What musical geniuses the Beach Boys were. Their harmonies are unmatched. Their songwriting sensibilities (carried on still to this day by Brian Wilson) were second to none. I mean, they wrote "Kokomo" for Pete's sake. Genius. And Pet Sounds? *applause*
Speaking of songwriters far beyond their years, I recently picked up a gem of an album on vinyl. It cost me a pretty penny, much more than I'm willing to pay for a record most of the time. All the same, Dog Problems by a little band called The Format is one of those albums that just resonates with you. If you haven't felt the way Nate Ruess does when he hysterically croons, "did you get it out of your system" only to make you believe again later on ranting about how he "love's bein' in love" and all that junk. It's undeniable how him and Sam Means dig into your soul. It encompasses anything that the term "dog problems" could be, it's being high, falling, and getting back up again. A true masterpiece sprinkled with self-deprecation, environmental analysis, and piles and piles of hope.
Yeah, I need that one.
Continuing into the blackened void that is my selfishness, without sounding too brooding about it, I will now share some thoughts:
/women are complicated and no man will ever know fully multifaceted madness that is a female human being.
/people can lives their lives in which ways they choose to do so. nothing you or i do on a platonic basis can change this.
/my conscious is and always will be there to tell me coulda, woulda, shoulda, and i should listen to it more often.
/taking chances is a chance in itself
/i want to please everyone i like or appreciate. and i can't. that shit ain't happenin.
/i wonder if i could ever write my own For Emma, Forever Ago and get that kind of closure from it. who's leasing a cabin?
/fear is my principle emotion
Neglecting the black clouds there, how about some sunshine? My band is playing a show next weekend. Next weekend. And we still haven't made a Facebook. But yeah, next weekend, the 23rd. Kept Alive. Go. Thx.
People are living. People are dying. Life is a gift. Open it up, don't just shake the box to see what's in it. Every day makes you obsolete so take pride in being a veteran of what little time you have.
Matchbox Twenty is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. Hate me for liking their songs but I'm a sucker for sappy lyrics, a well-constructed pop/rock song structure and Rob Thomas' voice. Dude is just convincing on songs like "Unwell" and "Real World", even though his solo stuff was hit or miss.
Hung out with a slew of people today. Wonderful lunch with Ben, saw Eric as well at the delicious food-making DeMarcos. Afterwards I spent an interesting few hours at Vida, surrounded by good friends and the warming aura of a hometown coffee shop. Later on I had a great excursion with some said friends to the valley for matters of reuniting with their loved ones and Burger King. Overall a night of good company.
Now I'm not asleep and it's wayyyyyy past my bedtime. Hahahhahahaa
Sorry I couldn't help you out Mario, hope you have a great trip man.
Working on writing songs. It feels good to actually type that. These past two years I've been cockteasing myself with delusions of grandeur of sorts, dreams of being a rock maestro. Part of these have come true, slappin' da bass in Kept Alive has been awesome, the bond I've shared with those guys is only one a musician in a band of good friends can truly feel. All the same, I've been also wondering when my own songwriting talents would come into light. I have my own tastes, take in hours of music on a daily basis and daydream of who I could be constantly. Here's the big if: Can I truly become the man I desire? Can I take cues from my heroes (local and otherwise), cut through the bullshit, express what I feel, grow as a musician and meet goals that I've only dreamed of setting? I've always been ambitious, but never particularly confident in my true abilities. I'm not shooting for the stars here. Realistically, if I can cut a record one day and call it my own, I'll feel as if I've slayed the dragon of self-doubt. It's been making those steps towards personal success that have been so difficult. I put walls up that hide nothing. I make promises that I don't keep. But slowly my creative prowess has been growing. I'm intent on my intentions and have no one to impress but myself. If in a year I can read this and be anything near accomplished, I'll be happy. Big words for sure.
Other amazing albums this year everyone needs to hear:
Thursday- No Devolucion (becoming my favorite with every listen)
Cage The Elephant- Thank You Happy Birthday (rockin' good time)
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows- D.R.U.G.S. (scene favorites get a second chance) (John Feldmann though, really?)
Manchester Orchestra- Simple Math (growing on me?)
Mansions- Dig Up the Dead (and I honestly couldn't stand his first album)
I find solace in chronologically sharing my life this way. It's both harrowing and sad, some of my thoughts. This is a great way to filter what I feel I can share with whoever is willing to listen.
There are billions of people on this planet. All of us have needs, hopes, dreams, and wants. If we can all share these things, we can be closer to attaining them for there will always be someone else needing, hoping, dreaming, and wanting and none of us can do it alone. Humanity is humility.
Seems to me that the weather is hot. Scattered showers only in Globe tonight. Not cool, water cycle!
Music, music, music. My band is practicing. Hopefully we'll play the next show at the Y. The last one was awesome. You missed out.
The new Explosions In The Sky album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care is really good. I suggest it. Finally downloaded Darker Handcraft by Trap Them too. I've been really into them lately. Pretty ferocious hardcore, this album was produced by Kurt Ballou, guitarist of Converge. Check it out.
Diamondbacks won again today. I feel if they stay strong throughout the year, they have a solid chance against the Giants. You never know with the Rockies either though.
I can't wait for: Saturday
I can hear: thunder at the moment
I am wearing: pajamas
I can relate to: "Empty Room" by Arcade Fire
I can see: a pattern here
June is almost over. Good or bad? Who knows. Here's to a happy July.
It's that time again, when I start to unravel my thoughts. Call it what you will, but today I'll call it self-assessment.
Top 5 albums halfway into 2011:
1. Bayside- Killing Time
2. Battles- Gloss Drop
3. Bright Eyes- The People's Key
4. The Strokes- Angles
5. Tori Y Moi- Underneath the Pine
So far, that's the story. Been neglecting this year's music for the most part. Getting a healthy dosing of the favorites, been really into Death Cab For Cutie and The Gaslight Anthem lately, as well as every metal band I can check out at a given time.
Vinyl has been my life, my principal addiction. Not the best way to spend money but nothing feels better than taking, oh say, Transatlantiscm for a spin and just fuckin' feelin' it. If you like music as much as I do, it's the best way to collect and listen to it. Buy a turntable, I'll give you records. Promise.
Been at Safeway a whopping 4 (count 'em) years now. Wow is all I have to say.
I've been: okay
I'm looking forward to: the Taking Back Sunday show on Saturday. someone come with me.
I'm worried about: the future
I'm approaching: change with an open mind
I'm about to: knock this shit off
Anyway, hello friends, fiends, leaders and followers. Stay what you are.