Jim Trainer

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

I HATE ROCK AND ROLL: 4 Years of Killing for What

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

reprinted from the Philadelphia IMC Wire March 2007

a dark wind blows
the government is corrupt.
And we’re on so many drugs
With the radio on and the curtains drawnDead Flag Blues
GODSPEEDYOUBLACKEMPEROR

4 years and over 3000 Americans dead. 7 as recently as Sunday.
What have we learned?
I have learned to be increasingly apathetic and accept when the man on my TV tells me that this is a great band.
It got too weird for one of the greatest intelligences of our time in the last four years. Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson checked out on February 20, 2004, killed by a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
We’ve seen the country go from ignorant (RED) and jaded (BLUE) to unanimous in opposition to this “war”.
The fact is our standard of living and our quality of life will remain unchanged and will not improve no matter what happens in this white man’s imperialist war. I’m still gonna have to make ends meet in trouble city while suffering this cheap and meaningless culture. I’m still gonna have to cough up the $20 to put in my tank and listen to a meaningless jive-talking band like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and be told that they’re great.
Just like I’m gonna have to report to the bossman, “Yessuh. Oh yessuh.” And he’s gonna have to report to his bossman, and all the way to the top Big Boss Man.

4 years ago I was living in an apartment in West Philly and djing for RadioVolta and WKDU. I was writing articles and attending protests. I traveled more than a couple hundred miles to stand in front of a classroom full of college kids w/ a copy of the Philadelphia Independent and ask, “Who here has seen this headline?”(WAR KILLS PEOPLE, the Philadelphia Independent APRIL 2003). Since then we’ve witnessed the death of this independent publication and the so called death of radio. We’ve lost our voice and the right to use it.

I’ve taken out 4 bands in the last 4 years. I remember my bout of optimism on election night in November 04 after returning home from a month on the road w/the Incredible String Band.
My final letdown and the ultimate slide into apathy and dread happened that same night.
Then it was like being awakened to an increasing hostility here at home.  I was out on the road w/brutal Crowbar the following summer when hope’s corpse was kicked around for one last round of abuse and the defiling of anything resembling good feelings about where this country is headed. Tommy Lasko was murdered in Ybor City on that tour and Dimebag Daryl Abbott was murdered by a schizophrenic discharged Marine named Nathan Gale the December previous.

Tour ended with me sleeping beneath Dime’s pool table at his wife’s house in Fort Worth before making the slow, begrudgingly patriotic death march home on July 4, 2005.  There were no lights on the trailer, the van was full of angry, road-worn metal dudes and the highways were lined with State Troopers.

And things only got worse.
We are no safer now. Abroad. In our own country.
4 years later.

While Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has admitted to masterminding the thing that set the war machine turning while confined in a torturous prison, our death toll has exceeded those killed on September 11, 2001 and Osama Bin Laden is still at large while his buddy George is still in control over here.
W sits out his final years as a lame duck and to me, he looks unaffected by the whole thing.   He looks as young and dumb as a frat boy whose been jamming to the Peppers w/the eyes of a confused mule.

I felt briefly invigorated by the Dems taking over the Senate this last November, sobering up out on the road w/Alexa Ray Joel. W/my new laptop and camera phone, cigarettes and cough syrup and cable TV I felt again the glimmering of hope w/in me. The rousing of a journalists voice, why, the ghost of the good doctor even, out there on some black rainy highway night outside my hotel window in Providence, RI.

A resolution to put an end to the war lost 48/50 last week and prior to the vote Yahoo News Page reported that:

“House GOP Leader John Boehner of Ohio issued a statement that said Democrats shouldn’t count on any help passing their legislation.”Republicans will continue to stand united in this debate, and will oppose efforts by Democrats to undermine the ability of General Petraeus and our troops to achieve victory in the Global War on Terror,” he said.”

I think the real “terror” is that the freedom we’re protecting is paltry, getting worse and not even worth fighting for. I think bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers should be tried for crimes against humanity b/c they’ve done nothing but help keep us inured, bored, and satiated w/vapid lullabies and apathetic whimsy.
And it’s all a part of this empire we are fighting and sending our sons and daughters to die for.

If I remember correctly I was stowed away in a Philadelphia blizzard watching the TV as our Commander in Chief alerted Americans that we would be going to war back in 2003.
I had no idea that the terror was right here at home and the war we would be fighting for the next 4 years would a fight for the freedom to live behind a wall of TV’s and that they think I’m gonna buy their cheap version of our rock and roll and like it.

I didn’t think the media could stoop so low
And become so irrelevant to me.
Killing and getting killed to live in a bubble where the stupid and violent rule listening to these bands who don’t have anything to SAY godamnit.
Alright
Neither do I.

“I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene.
And I’m neither left or right
I’m just staying home tonight”-Leonard Cohen “Democracy”

Happy Anniversary Mr. President, and congratulations to the Red Hot Chili Peppers for winning the Grammy.

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tonight’s the night

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 9:01 am

Blood vessels ruptured into crescents beneath his pupils like tiny chalices filling with blood.  He kissed her neck.   Pain splintered from below his heart and out behind him, beneath his shoulder blade. It felt as if someone had tried to drive a stake through his heart but missed.  It had been a long night.  She put her hand up to where he kissed and there was blood.  He kissed her hand away. The Missouri-Pacific blew through.  The sun was rising and the sinking chalice of a crescent moon was filling with light.  He kissed her neck once more.  He was going underground.

hey, Blogger boy!

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2011 at 6:27 am

Dear Jim:
 
Thanks for submitting work to The Explosive Helmet. We enjoyed this piece, but unfortunately it’s not quite right for us.
 
Best of luck placing it elsewhere.
 
Editor

Why the Past Sucks

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I got a message from D, an old friend.  He’s writing on behalf of B, another old friend.  B is building a website and wants to know if I would contribute.  The website will be an interactive history of our hometown’s hardcore scene.  The message was meaningless.  Not meaningless, I just couldn’t understand why B wouldn’t write to me and ask me himself.  I couldn’t get past it so I didn’t really think about the message until this morning.

Now that I have a cup of Barrio coffee heavy with cream&sugar in front of me and a limit of 3 cigarettes god help me, I can think about this message.

Here’s what I think:  the past sucked, now it’s the past.  yay! 

We win.

Just like we did then.  We won.  We cranked it down 1 to Sabatino’s we got kicked out of O’Hara’s talent show.  We had bands we had shows.  We had demos and fliers.  It was fun.  One night we knocked out the fucking partition wall where I slept in my mom’s basement so we could have an all out show.  We borrowed the cafeteria of Sacred Heart for two years in a row.  Those shows brought together all the township factions, their brand of hardcore or metal or strange hybrid of both.  Those Sacred Heart shows were a gun with many barrels.  Allot of these bands or their members went on to play a couple of Amnesty International shows at that fucking hated highschool one of which was shutdown and we weren’t even students there anymore.

I was a fucking hardon stupid kid.  I was as fit as I ever was or have been since.  We did shit.  Shit got done. 

Then, as with all scenes, came the new school.  Kids who perceived snubbing and upmanship when they were pint-size now had bands.  Rivalries started that had nothing to do with music.  The music was still appreciated, with all its contemporary twists and trends. 

This missive has less to do with the kids involved, all of us, than it has to do with hardcore in general.  Hardcore was dead when we started playing it, or it kicked alive that summer of 89 as far as we were concerned depending on who you ask.  When it became something it was nothing.  How fucking Buddhist is that?  The violence and upmanship had as much to do with personalities back then as it had to do with whitetrash fucking bouncers in a fucking hole off 69th Street. 

That place(do I have to mention it by name?)sprouted even more seeds, many of the Nazi kind.  I won’t even dignify whatever that was by calling it National Socialism.  we all knew them as nazis but they weren’t ever some fucking political movement or anything.  (if you’re still on that trip which I doubt you are welcome to the Chinese Century motherfucker) other than that, just knuckleheads, one and all, but differences were never about music.  At least, to me they weren’t.

Interesting things happened back then, in our scene.  bands I saw with Doyle and Gavin were ahead of their time and it blows my mind today when I think about it. 

Seeds of the 8-ball crew continue to blossom with people like Sicko still being Sicko, now in print and on film.  Paz.  word.  I’m giving big ups here and if there’s any connection besides the one to Delco’s “scene” it’s that all of the people I mentioned are still doing shit today.  and there’s still more I haven’t mentioned doing same.  the current lineup, the media has changed but the message is still the same. 

when a scene imitates genre, it’s called form over content. 

Copping metal-breakdowns back then was great.  but when it became this, by rote, stupid brownshirt human theatre in Upper Darby for cry eye the die was cast.  have your scene have your hardcore. 

People don’t understand how fucking righteous it was to put on shows back then.  none of the bands sounded the same.  think about that.  now think about hardcore.  if you didn’t get mentioned you know I love ya.  if you don’t know that I love ya than I probably don’t. 

thanks for playing music.  thanks for sharing some good times when we otherwise would’ve been bored in a small town or fucked up on drugs or worse played sports.  fuck them for the bad times but they didn’t do anything to me.  I was out on the fringe before they could say “David Geffen”.  they were dissing hardcore.  they were dissing me and my friends for not playing metalbreakdowns 1-2-3 while standing on the road we paved. 

all 30 of their friends jumped 3 of mine comfortably far from the reality of when there were only 4 skins at UDHS and yet we freaks held our own anyway. 

they burned down the forest and you’re asking me for leaves.   what happened to something we cared about so much?  My answer:  who cares?

just don’t suffer anything less than what it meant back then.  then you can look back, as I do, with gladness, pride, and scorn.

Namaste

the Rigs

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

Heath took me to a place called Out Tha Box up the road from the yard. He introduced me to Coconut, the Filipino barmaid.  I had two Buds and a chili dog before I was tearing back to my bunk to watch Rocky Balboa but the DVD wouldn’t load.

The yard boss and the job boss are both pains in the ass but me and Butch have relieved the tension by addressing them as “Sweet Tits” and “Shithouse”.

ASI is full of shit and Butch is out of money.  They said they were sending him out but it’s been a week since.  We been working in the yard, eating in the cafeteria and watching “Good Times” in the break room.

Our rooms are 3 beds and a toilet.  The food is southern, greasy and stupid.  So are the people.

Today I started Water Survival class. I sat in a simulated helicopter as it hit the water and it turned upside down. Knock out the windows and swim to safety for 8 hours of paid training.  Oh I got a tee shirt too.

After class, me and Butch walked to the bar to settle up w/Coconut. We got in there and out of the heat.  The place has no windows and is, well, a box.  Its pitch-black and Jaeger Machine red in there, the colors of death and blood.  Naming the place Out Tha Box was a master stroke of  beautiful irony b/c all you want to do is get out of there.  The crowd was on a Godsmack jag, the jukebox was blaring and death’s jaws opened wide.  The kind-of-hot-by-fencepost-standards girl was playing pool.  We watched.  Everybody watched.  We ordered two beers and Butch and I looked at each other. He handed me what looked like 87cents so we got up and walked out of there.

We all gotta die.  This place sucks.  Keepin my head above water, good times.

fan letter#5

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hey Jim– It’s Mark O’Reilly, former co-warehouse monkey…I hope you’re well. I quit the building a couple of months ago, and am about to return to my old stomping grounds of McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Sorry I haven’t been in touch until now, but I figured I’d say howdy. Keep on writin’, singin’, and suchlike in the battle against the forces of stupidity… cheers, Mark

those things’ll kill ya

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm

this little parcel

candy-striped like an old-school

nurse.

pay him my money

get on my way

I tuck this little parcel

into my shirtsleeve pocket and

walk out into the rain.

past the oil puddles outfront

the Barrio

and into the woods where it’s flooded

and fine.

20 of these long, brown

&skinny things, no filter like

they’ve no beginning and no end.

I light one up and ’98’s with me

the rain, that Christmas

the impossibility of

everything.

you taking me by the hand

in the cab

with “I’m on Fire” on

out front

the Wagon Wheel.

back at the hotel,

it was real Love at last

right down to the  blueprints of

treachery&ruin

within the plans we both laid.

I’ve been out here in the rain too long

the creek’s risen and its filling

my shoes.

it’s only water and mud but

I thought I was safe from

this memory.

WHIP IN STAFF

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

The Offices of Jim Trainer

WAR ROOM

Hippie Town, USA

1/14/11

Namaste-

Happy New Year to you all.  May the Year of the Rabbit bring us great fortune and happiness.  If not, may the fates align and put the fucker in our crosshairs so we may kill him and make a yummy rabbit stew.  It’s getting ugly out there.

Yesterday, on my way to the people’s dental vans, off the feeder road to 35, I saw a guy with a sign that read: 

I, PROLITAREAN

DON’T OWN ANYTHING

EXCEPT MY LABOR, WHICH IS FOR SALE

CAPITALISM SUX

I don’t fault the poor guy for finding himself on the bottom of the food chain and blaming Capitalism, but I secretly hated him for making up his own words for the cause.  I rolled down my window and gave him all the change in my cup holder. 

“Put this towards your new Dictionary and kiss your middle class goodbye!”  I yelled.

“God bless you.” I heard him say as he put the change in his sack, nearly missing my turn off.  The gas light on my dash had been on since I left the gig at the Whip the night before.  The rear shock is out and she’s in bad need of an oil change.  All I had to do was get my rent check in the mail and deposit the fat wad of ones in my front pocket at the bank.  Then, if I made it back to my apartment, where a $70 check from Rold Promotions should’ve been waiting in my mail slot, I’d turn right around, go back to the bank, deposit the check and refuel. 

All of this to be broke again.  Busted.  Flat.  But with enough gas in my tank I’d make it down to my gig at the Beale Street Tavern and have a chicken fried chicken in my stomach and another pocket full of ones by midnight. 

The New Year was looking grim.  I was robbing Peter to pay Paul and I’d been woken up with what felt like vicegrips clamping DOWN on my TMJ. 

“That’s your Temporal Mandibular Joint. “, the good Dr.Gupta told me in the vans.  It was not an abscess, which as a broke musician I know about all too well.  Teeth are like dice you roll in this gamble I call my Life.  In fact, my next collection of poetry will be called Eye Teeth from the Artiste Do you like that title?  Anyway, I was rudely awakened by this throbbing unholy vicegrip fucker on the first Monday of the new year and I wasn’t sure if I would have my rent paid and gas in my car by end of day. 

Being nocturnal and unemployed and not seeing the light of day for 4 months made me feel like I was sleeping in a wine bottle.  My vision was bad, and I stank.  Have you ever woke a bat?  It’s nasty, trust me.   I was thrust into the middle of the highway with unholy fucking hell pain in my jaw, swearing and hating everybody’s everything at 10 in the morning. 

“YOU’RE A FUCKING IDIOT!” was my mantra as I was blowing doors down Ben White Blvd under the headache-yellow sun.  There were some Bad Vibes songs I was screaming at them although I can’t remember which.

(By the way, I’m bringing up a motion before City Council to change the name of Ben White Blvd to Poor White Turnpike.  I hope I can count on your support and I hope to see you all down at the dome.) 

I’m lucky to live in a town where my immediate dental needs can be met by virtue of being a musician and belonging to HAAM.  I was not so lucky to have 3 doctors ask me the same questions for three hours in a van off the feeder to 35 while the clock was ticking. If I didn’t make it to the post office before they closed, my rent check would not be postmarked for the 3rd and it would be late.  There would be late fees, money I didn’t have, trouble.   

Time was running out.  After my dentist appointment I decided to risk what scant gas I had left and go immediately back to my apartment, pick up the check, THEN head to the bank and make my deposits.  When I got home, not only was there no check, there was a note on my door from Pamor properties that said they were raising our water bill.  Mine was $70.  Go fucking figure.  Pamor Properties, they just bought the place and now they’re busy taking out prospective tenants on golf cart rides and raising water bills. I almost swerved into Polly Pamor’s golf cart coming down the hill and speeding round the complex but I made it to the bank.

When I stepped up to the teller I could see, through the window behind her, a familiar face at the drive thru tellers, outside.  It was Woody, in his truck, with his DOC OCS on and his gay beard blazing.  I deposited the ones and got out of there. 

Just for kicks, I ran around to the drive through with my hood up to attempt a mock stickup on our friend Woody.  He had his head down; he was busy counting his money. 

“HANDS UP WHO WANTS TO DIE?!”  I screamed, reaching in towards his lap to seize the booty. 

Then, from out of the dark recesses of Woody’s passenger cab, three hysterical girls who looked no older than 12, emerged and were clawing at me, digging their nails IN to me, screaming and hissing.  It was like a Greek tragedy and they were this three headed, six-armed goddess.   Like some Dionysus, I disengaged from the swarm and Woody flicked his cigarette at me.

 “You don’t fuck with Uncle Woody!” a young twat sitting shotgun spat at me as they sped away.  I had long, blonde hairs all over my woolen Swiss Army jacket and a gash on my cheek from one of those bitches press on nails.  I was out of options.  Flat broke, without gas and blood on my clothes.  I had enough money in my checking account to cover my rent but then what? 

I made it to the Post Office.  As I was leaving I came up with the Idea.  It wasn’t a great idea, born out of desperation, really, and it all depended on one thing:  if I had enough gas to make it back to the feeder road by the dental vans where this wretched day began.  This became my mantra then, as I slowly crept along:”if I have enough gas to make it, back to the feeder road, by the dental vans, where this wretched day began“ –I repeated my mantra the whole way up the feeder road northbound “if I have enough gas to make it back to the feeder road, by the dental vans, where this wretched day began“ –the sun had set on Hippie Town and it was getting dark and cold “ if I have enough gas-wait, why am I telling you all of this? 

I’m sorry. 

I wasn’t able to tip you as I should’ve the last few months.  Wiggs, I know, you won’t take my money, but, you’ve got to understand.  Musicians are low, base people.  And writer’s?  Shit-the only thing lower than a writer is maybe a pedophile and not the good kind of pedophile like Woody.  As we enter the Chinese Century, I want you to know that I am thankful.  Thanks for putting up with me and my $2 songs.  Thanks for letting me make my own Americanos.  As a member of the food service industry and as a human being it is my duty and honor to serve YOU.  At least it was. 

The walls have come DOWN and there’s a storm, coming now, to this country.  The 112th Congress is now in session and if you think Obama’s Fauxgressivism was bad, wait til you get a load of these motherfuckers.    It’s getting harder and harder in this country to think there’s anything wrong with stealing a bum’s bag of change off the feeder road to 35.  Its capitalism, after all, and he’s right.  It sux.

“Eat or be eaten.”-Iggy Pop

See you in the building.

Jim Trainer

p.s.sorry about the change!

diamonds in the Dark

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2011 at 8:46 am

Dear Solo poet,

Our editors enjoyed reading your submission. But here is the not so good news. Your work was not selected for this issue.

That said, the good news is that we spent time with your poems. We read them outloud. We talked about them several times. We cared about your poems.

And we invite you to submit new poems to the next issue when the submissions open in Summer, 2011. Being familiar with your poems helps us look for your work next time.

We understand that you take a risk to submit just three poems and perhaps fifty great ones didn’t get sent. Send us more in our next submission cycle. And remember, we are a theme-centric journal looking for work that speaks to our times with a sense of urgency and strong voice. We consider how poems work together to bear energy and story.

Thanks for the opportunity to consider your work.

Best,

managing editor

Dream Another Dream

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

The Holiday Inn Express in Heartland, TX is a Shangri-La in a shithole.  I had to get back to the hotel to bed down, wake up and grind out another 11 hour day tomorrow.  We were taking golf course owners out for rides in the new Golfquick LE golf cart deep in the dumb heart of suburban Texas.  I had one more day on this job and I’d be free.  I hated life, and rush hour in Heartland is a good reason to die. 

Broadway loomed up ahead.  Fuck that.  There was a sign to the right, at Telephone Road.  It read:   ”road closed-under construction”, shut-down like everything else in this smile less town.  The road looked fine to me and I was street-legal.  I heeded none. 

I cranked it down Telephone Road.   The signs fell as if they understood.  I opened it up when I realized what I’d done.  I’d found a new way and the road was mine.  35-45-55-60, 65-70-75-80.  It was at this speed and in this elevated state of optimism that I saw him and thought twice about leaving him behind me like all the other redneck scumfuc denizens of Heartland, back to front in rush hour traffic and going nowhere.

“You don’t got weed, you don’t ride.” 

He kind of looked at me sideways.  He knew I was serious.  He could clearly tell I was street-legal.  He picked up his shit and he threw it in the back.

“My name is G.Razas”

We burned down our new road through the wasteland.  G just got back from the equator and he had the black gold.  Pure hash.  Pure speed.  Being fearless allows one to be found by the miracle.  Before long, we’d be back on the Beltway with its purple Evac-Route road signs.  Now we were back on the high road of life.  And if we got caught-who cares?  I was street-legal and an employee of Golfquick.  It’s good to be king, even in a town with the combined I.Q. of piss.

G. regaled in stories of foreign lands, girls, black gold hash, late nights on white beaches where you could get away with anything and the Police are your friends when you’ve got a wallet full of weak American dollars.  I envied him.  I’d been to every state in the continental U.S. except South Dakota in some quest to somehow be better than my old man.  My father lived and died in the town where he was born.  All the man did was work except for some lost weekends in Houston when our front yard in Friendswood flooded and we couldn’t get him on the phone. 

I was in awe of G.  Although I envied him, I felt good, high. We were blowing through the Blackgums with a cloud of gravel  behind us.

Then G asked, “You ever read Kerouac?”

“Bastard!”, I screamed.  The hash was really taking hold, making me paranoid.

Who didn’t?

On the Road was like some Nike commercial to my generation.  It blew my mind that endless summer up north, and into fall, dropping acid and raking leaves in my mom’s backyard while attending community college.  The thing that struck me most about his work:  romanticism was still alive.  It was out there, somewhere, waiting.  But, when my mom kicked me out one Christmas Eve I had to sleep in Crowell park until I got a room at the “Travel Lodge” in Darby.  Romanticism was out there, somewhere, waiting while I was in Sharon Hill, PA pulling carpet for $45 a day.

I was getting cold-shaking, a bad sign.  The paranoia had set in.  I rolled up mine and G’s window. 

“You know Kerouac was through here, right?” I looked unblinking into G.Razas’ eyes. 

“No!”

“Sure he was.  Remember when he was in Fredericksburg, and it was snowing?  You know him and Ginsburg were killing it down this very same road.”

I pulled off the beltway.  The sign for BJ’s Bar&Grill was blazing like bullshit in the oil black sky. 

“Go in there, ask for Sarah.  Get yourself a Po’Boy and a Piranha Pale.  And pick up a newspaper once in a while, those beat writers will turn your brain into erectile tissue.”

G was gracious.  If he only knew.  The game was on and he’d be surrounded by teabaggers in cowboy boots by nightfall.  No one rides for free and I was doing him a favor.  Stranded in the 31st fastest growing suburb in America and up to his eyeballs in deerhunter caps with only a knapsack and a copy of Dharma Bums ought to wake him up to the realities of life.

I got back to the hotel, and back on schedule.  Back to where the dream isn’t dead yet but it dies a little more each day.   Back to the room armed only with a quart of Famaliar and a pack of American Spirit Orange.  I flick on the TV.  Something stupid was happening and people laughed.  A Viagra commercial came on and you could hear Howling Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightnin” being used in the background.  Rock and roll was dead.  The news comes on and the chances of rain for tomorrow are 100%.  I crack the quart and rip the smoke detectors off the wall. 

Then I shut off the TV and I pick up the phone.

“Hey gorgeous.”

“Hi Jim Trainer.”

“Baby-when I get this rig unwound we’ll be sipping Irish Coffee under the palms in Westheimer.  Fuck the world, eat the rich.”

The last conversation I had with my Dad was about work.  I’ll finish the job.  Then I think I’ll get lost in Houston for a little while.