Sunday, September 21, 2014

Promotional content

Please forgive this self-promotional post, but I play in a band called The Early Stages, and we put out a 7-inch recently. Copies are still available, and you can buy one at this link. If you don't want to buy it, you can also stream it for zero dollars at the same link. Ted Nugent sucks.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A song for every year of my life #28: 2004

I haven't done one of these for almost a year. I usually unintentionally abandon every series I start on this blog, but here it is, back from the grave. I want to post more frequently here, even though the nonspecific journal-style blogs seem to be dying (I'm a sucker for any medium or piece of the culture that's slowly dying), and this old series came to mind today. I'm almost always thinking about music anyway, and music is the only healthy thing that makes me feel better when I have convinced myself I'm a piece of shit loser. I'm going through a bit of a phase (13 years and counting is still a phase, right?) where I feel like an unsuccessful, perpetually broke, missed-my-calling, unable-to-communicate-verbally-with-humans, sad, angry, bitter, jealous failure, but music stops those thoughts and is better than my other means of coping (alcohol, television, food, repressed rage). Movies and books are also amazing things, but I have to be in an okay place to really engage with them. Music is some kind of voodoo-salve, cosmic gloom squeegee that can turn the room purple if you play it loud enough and give it your full attention. It's the only thing that works unconditionally in a world that is mostly complete and utter bullshit. (Well, my wife and my cats are pretty great, too, but I take the good things in my life for granted because I have problems.)
How cruel that 2004 is my next stop. Looking at the big list of records released in 2004, I don't see much I care about. I'm sure there are tons of local, below-the-radar 2004 records waiting to melt my face off, but the ones I've heard don't have the juice, except for a big pile of records by people I've already written about in this series (I'm trying to do just one song per artist) and a smattering of others. One of those others is the only musical hero of mine who follows me on Instagram, Doug Gillard. Gillard has played guitar for a metric fuckload of quality bands including Guided By Voices (who broke up again today, goddamn it), Cobra Verde, My Dad Is Dead, Death of Samantha, Gem, Bill Fox, Nada Surf, and Lifeguards. The guy is a guitar wizard who is really good at playing hot guitar sounds on the guitar for guitar aficionados, but never at the expense of a song. He's also a damn fine songwriter, with three damn fine solo albums and a damn fine solo EP. Here is the song "(But) I See Something" from his 2004 album Salamander. This song has a lot to recommend it. It's subtle, pretty, and catchy, with a girl group/early Pretenders/indie pop/classic rock swirl of sounds joining together into a nice little whole, and I dig the old-school parenthetical in the title. I'm a man who enjoys parentheticals.

Alternate choice: Melvins/Lustmord - "The Bloated Pope"
I love the Melvins. They're still a vital band putting out great records and trying new things three decades into their career. They're like the metal Yo La Tengo. This song is from their unfairly neglected collaboration with electronic noise terrorist Lustmord, Pigs of the Roman Empire, that is better than most 2004 records, especially the boring ones by Arcade Fire, Eminem, Kanye West, U2, Green Day, Sufjan Stevens, et cetera and so on that were getting all the attention from the critics that year. I like this song because it kicks ass and sounds good, and also because Lustmord got his start by going to high-profile shows and just getting on stage before the opening band and performing until someone figured out he wasn't on the bill and kicked him off the stage, and finally because I was raised Catholic and forced to go to church as a kid even though I never bought into that organized religion malarkey so you can probably guess the song title warms my heart. Ted Nugent sucks.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Tragicomedy is meltdown plus time

Politics are stupid. I'm not mad at anybody anymore. We're all doing what we can with what we've got and none of us are ever going to understand each other and that's got to be okay.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Blog Post

Please enjoy this completely unrelated photo of President Taft before you read this blog post, compliments of the creative team behind Mr. Krauter, the half-robot, half-hologram, all-hunk who was programmed to write this crap. 
Wowzers. Haven't updated this thing in a while. Need to put all the shit in my life that's out of whack back in whack, blow the dust off the neglected parts and give them some sweet, sweet attention, and stop wasting time like I did on Sunday arguing about politics with my relatives on Facebook. Is there anything worse than arguing on Facebook? I don't even give a shit about politics. I only give a shit about art and sandwiches. I lose respect for myself every time I get ensnared in that bullshit. I used to get ensnared in it a lot, because my relatives write and forward a lot of crazy shit and I stay up late and enjoy the occasional drink and the combination of all that stuff became deadly. Now I either hide the posts or ignore them, and I feel a lot better about myself. But, Sunday, man. They were dogpiling on my mom like bullies and making a lot of generalizations about a large, disparate demographic, and that pisses me off. I jumped in, things got heated, and crazy, crazy things were typed by almost all. It's impossible to write an eloquent sentence in the Facebook argument. Everyone ends up looking like the world's biggest jackass. No one came out of that online battle royale looking like a champion. I can be a real loser sometimes. I'm pretty disgusted with myself for wasting my time on it. Still don't get what happened to my relatives. They went through the neocon meatgrinder and came out the other side in a shiny Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly sausage casing. Facebook-forwarding footsoldiers in the dissemination-of-bullshit army. Best to just keep on keeping three or four states in between us and remember the past is dead. We had some good times in the pre-Facebook days, before the pod people bodysnatched them. We're not any good for each other in the present.
The idea of family is something that troubles me. I used to think I had a handle on what it meant, but now I feel like I was in a balloon that popped. Every member of my immediate family lives in a different city or town in four different states, I can't relate to my uncles and cousins anymore, all the cool old folks died, my parents split up and made some very bad post-divorce relationship decisions I don't support, and I have my own life here with my wife and wacky cats and rock band and unfulfilling day job and mild depression and impending middle age and list of regrets. My life is statistically half over, and I haven't figured out a damn thing about how I can be useful to myself or others. And that's the weird place I'm at tonight.

Postscript: I posted this last night, felt weird about posting it, and then deleted it, then felt weird about deleting it, so here it is again, with some changes. Nobody even reads this shit anyway, so why censor myself?