I have been enjoying my recent time away from PromoWest concerts that has been replaced by the opportunity to work with new people and hit a whole new level of bands. I don’t think that “new level” really gets it across. Demographic wouldn’t really work either. Alright…you have Big ass international/national acts like Lady “Gag me with a spoon” Gaga etc… that play massive arena shows that tens of thousands of people come to and perform at the grammys and shit like that. Next step down the rung are National headliners bands like Killswitch Engage, Mastodon, Incubus, 311, and a lot of other radio type bands. Touring with those bands you’ll find bands that have just released an album on a major label and are touring as support trying to gain a larger fan base. But here’s the thing..about 3-5 years before that band was supporting on a national tour they were out there in a van on an indie label or by themselves making it happen. Dillinger Escape Plan did it like that for a long time and so did Mastodon. The Blood Brothers never really made it past that stage, but I think that was part of their appeal to use DIY type of folks.
I’m trying to explain because I don’t really know what to call this stage of band progression. Regional? But some of the bands come from all over the country. Whatever. We’ll call it regional and be happy about it. That’s what I’ve been doing a lot of lately, regional bands. Pelican, Ganon, Nebula (who broke up 3 days ago, so that show ain’t happenin’) Mouth of the Architect, Skeletonwitch, Radio Moscow…..it’s been great!! I love to go to shows, I love to play shows, I love music with real balls and heart that has something to say! Why accept substitutes? Wow…I almost felt like I blew my load for this rant with that sentence. It really says everything very simply.
Wolfgang Parker had some things to say about the cycles of women and sexuality in music recently that caused me to pause and think. It was in response to a post be a mutual friend of ours expressing her distaste for the type of sexuality expressed by performers like Lady Gaga, Kei$ha, and many of these female performers (and male performers/musicians) that seem be cashing in on their asses and outfits rather than making any kind conscience musical contribution to the world. Wolfgang had the mindset that things would swing around to a more conservative trend after people have gotten sick of our current hyper-sexualized phase. It was a slightly disappointing perspective to hear because it lacked any desire to hear substance in music and instead substituted a blase attitude about being unable to do anything about it. I know that pop music will always be pop music, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to inject some intelligence and meaning in there!! I can hear the argument now…”But people won’t understand it. The themes will be too complicated. People want simple music that’s easy to listen to and doesn’t get complicated.” BULLSHIT!!! Radiohead is one of the biggest bands in the world!! And they are some smart motherfuckers! Everything from lyrics to the ambient noise of their music is deliberate and borderline genius. The same with the Gorillaz, Green Day, Them Crooked Vultures, Queens of the Stone Age, Beck, Modest Mouse, Jack White’s bands. All of these bands contain thoughtful, intelligent, and deliberate music with themes of struggle, conflict, drama, love, hate, existence, conservation, perseverance, and many others that I don’t have the patience to list here and these are all bands that you hear n the radio everyday!!!! I feel that all in all he missed the point. Madonna used to challenge people with her hyper-sexualized acts and antics. That was the point and still should be the point.
But I am straying way far away from where I started and meant to go. I was talking about regional shows and how I’ve been enjoying doing work for them recently. It’s different than doing a Clutch show. Bands like that already have a billion pieces of art done for them that are fucking badass! Mine is awesome too, but how does it even begin to climb that mountain of accomplishment? So I’m glad that I’ve been able to get into the scene of bands that are, career wise, at about that same point that I am. They’ve got something going for them, but they’re still trying to crest that hill to the next best thing that will put them that close to making this the rest of their life. It’s the same for me right now. I just need some supplies and I’ll be on the way to printing my own posters and shirts and patches and SKATEBOARDS!!! So here’s to the near future and doing a healthy business along the way. Cheers!
Man….I really don’t want to do this today, but I kind of have to.
What, you may be asking yourself, is it that he doesn’t want to do?
Well…I don’t want to be working back at the Grandview Heights Public Library. But I got roped into coming back in a position subordinate to the one I had when I was let go back in August. I thought that I was going to be able to move on with my life and get into making art for a living or at least doing something else that wasn’t working at the Library. But alas, no one got back to me about jobs, art related or not and here I am with some free-lance on the horizon and pushing a book cart and shelving books 12 hours a week for minimal pay. But when your about to be a dad with no great job prospects you don’t really get to pick and choose. You’ve got to man up and start bringing home the bread. FUCK!!
I’m kind of hating my life right now and hating on the people who asked me to come back in this capacity, but failed to extend me any kind of opportunity before the lay-offs occurred. FUCK THEM!! I’ll get over this eventually and settle into a routine, but I think that’s what I’m most upset about. I don’t want to settle into a routine with this shit….I don’t even want to risk that. I did the library for 10 years and I want to move on with my life. FUCK YOU WALL ST. ASSHOLES!!! For fucking everything up because you wanted to line your own pockets with your sleazy greed addiction and then sending this country into a horrible spiral of debt and disaster that screwed up so many people and their lives!! But no, we were just numbers to you. Just little ink blots or pixels on a screen determining lose and gain. I could murder you all. And here you are re-couping fat bailout checks…..I’m willing to bet that you remained unaffected be the whole ordeal. You and your bank accounts. And here I am trying to get things going for myself and my new family unit. I’m in debt, behind on my bills, out of work, trying to make something from nothing, with a baby and on the way. This is why I have to go back to the library.
Further developments will occur and I will get away from this soon. Psychopathic records needs more work from me, so that’s more money. And fuck what we all may really think about them, ICP pays. More will come, I’m sure of it. But for now, chin up buddy boy.
Tomorrow comes today.
In it’s infancy humanity fought amongst itself for domination of small plots of land that held game and shelter. In it’s childhood humanity still fought, but this time is was for tribal lines and farmland that could relieve them of their traveling nomadic lifestyle. In it’s adolescence humanity fought each other in the form of great ancient civilizations and ruled over vast horizons and built great machines out of wood and mined for precious metals. Today in it’s young adulthood humanity fights itself mainly so corporations can have the cheapest working wage in “underdeveloped” nations to make things that the rest of the world can buy. Today civilization is a tool for monetary gain and ultimately power, not to say that it wasn’t before, but no longer is it dictated by the strength of your sword or the fierceness and courage of your warriors. It is spelled out in long range missiles that are guided to their target by satellites controlled by a network of people stretching all across the globe all so they can blow up a small group of people entrenched trying to do their best to be a wrench in the machine. Not to say that their cause is any better than the powers that be, because they follow an even less rational path of religious fanaticism where they arbitrarily lay down their lives because a man that says he can speak to their god and knows what he wants them to do says so.
But all is not lost and I am not one to look at the world in any exclusive way. I like to think of myself as a pragmatist, but in a very positive way. That is to say there is the truth of the matter, but there is always hope and potential for things to improve. And if things are excellent then there is room for them to get even better! There is no point in denying a dreary truth and coating it in euphemisms and talking around it. State the facts “Yes. Our friend is a coke addict. But we haven’t done anything to help that at all.” Facts. No we haven’t helped and now we’re all running away because he’s really far into it and we don’t like that. Not “Oh, well, I don’t like being around him because he does all that shit and I can’t have a conversation with him. What? He called? No way am I going to answer the phone.” That is bullshit that we’ve all been guilty of in some way or another, but that doesn’t mean that we, the situation, and our friend can’t improve. It’s just depends on what your willing to do to help things.
There is no excuse and no reason not to do something. Things can get better.