Jim Trainer

Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Dispatch from the Bad Road

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The guy had sort of pinned me to the wall and was glistening with maniacal sweat and talking some freak speak about what he was going to do and his stuff with how John was interested, and he was going to get in touch with John Lennon.
-James Taylor on his encounter with Mark David Chapman in 1980

I’m not the best with holidays. Or Whiskey. But-I can’t complain. After a few fingers of Jameson and a turkey dinner I had to excuse myself.  I lit some candles in the apartment, laid down with a few Peronis and listened to Charles Bukowski.  Laying in the dark listening to Bukowski read poetry isn’t exactly a “good time”but sometimes choosing your own suffering is as good as it’s gonna get.
I didn’t resurface from that dark trip until Saturday.  I went out and had drinks with Wing and the diplomat’s daughter.  We were on the deck at Opal Divine’s gnashing on horrible American barfood.  They were playing “all the hits” on the soundsystem and we were systematically smoking out anyone who tried to sit at the table behind us.  We were discussing the new year and the end of the bloody Age of Pisces.
“What can it mean?”  The diplomat’s daughter asked.
“It’s the end of patriarchy.”  I blew out a plume of smoke.  “And a return to matriarchy.”
The couple seated at the table behind us were grimacing as they flagged down their server and asked for another table.  I continued.
“Less extroversion   More introversion.  Less aggression.  More nurturing.  And if you want to anthropomorphize the centuries since Christ was born, the Pisces is not stable.  Pisces are staked out in the chaotic world of the emotions, while Aquarians rule the air and the intellect.  Pisces can be compassionate-empathetic is more like it-but, if you find yourself at war with a Pisces it’ll be nothing short of your complete and psychological annihilation.”
It was true enough.  I was a Pisces.  And some of my best friends are Aquarians.  They think they know it all and it’s amusing.  But I dig their confidence, as I am often mired in the multitudinous shades of doubt and tumults of emotion.  They were playing Boston when we paid our tab and left.
About an hour later I was alone again, sitting in front of my laptop with a cup of Italian Roast and a Sapporo.  The proof of the book was spread out onscreen, as well as a few different options for the cover.  And then it hit me…I was suddenly overcome with a fucking flood of gratitude.
It was this feeling of:  This is my life?!  Well goddamn.  I can do this!  And whatever else I set out to.

The only thing in the way is my self.  I used to stop there.  I had no answer for the hulking mass of me, blocking off the path and breaking me down with cynical whispers and destabilizing doubt.  Aho-the beast within and the inner dialogue.  The real bugger and culprit who robbed me blind of my will and wanted me to believe that those deadend avenues were all that there was.
I kicked back against that prick.  I took winding roads clear across Canada and to every state in the lower 48.  I moved 1,600 miles from those deadend streets of my hometown and even here in Paradise I jettisoned the sleazy barrio livin’ I was doing on the Hospitality circuit.
It’s time to take the Crown.  What else?  Except there ain’t no running&gunning this time.  I must embrace myself, crouch down like the tiger and sit so low inside myself, somehow persuade that bastard to walk down the road with me.  Shit-use the fucker like a human wrecking ball if I have to.  I know what I came for.  I’m not as young as I used to be but I’m wise and thrice-bitter.  There are no more mistakes.

Now if you’ll excuse me I must barricade myself until the wretched holidays are over.
May you find the love I have for you within.
JT

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for Brother Butch&All of You

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

Maybe even then it was on its way. I can’t tell and I don’t believe in fate. There are plenty of names for it but whatever you want to call it, I have no use in handing over my power. Be it to: fate or God or “a reason”.
I can get behind destiny. A fine and loaded word, that. Destiny connotes a fight, infers something won, maybe a coming into your own power. What else? The hardest thing will be remembering.  Summoning what they tried to stone out of you in school and bore through you on the shift. It’s been nothing short of a miracle-this pushing of buds against the hard dead ground.  The seed spindling up&out, cracking stone to get out to where the warm sun shines and the wild wind blows.
I believe in death. I believe in my People. I believe in the limitless cargo of the heart. We were carried and we will carry.
There wasn’t much light at times and there was nothing but a suffocating fury at times. You know I’ve been the first to say “this shit sucks” and curse it. Now I learn grace and “kiss it as it flies”, be thankful for luck and for my own strength.

This life is too short and there’s not enough of it.  I don’t look up to the sky or ask for forgiveness.  I see the light in your eyes and I see you wreck shop when you do work.  I’m here.  On the other side of 20years on the shift and my bitterness is all but burned away.  I’ve developed some nasty habits to get me through.  I’ve handed and continue to hand over my power to these.  I don’t curse or demonize.  With grace I simply continue walking down the path and cultivate some different habits.  They will replace the old.  I’ll get up there under the hot lights, reclaiming full lung capacity and scream my fucking head off engaging in the fine sport of rock&roll.  Oh-you didn’t know?
One of the goals of my life is to be the singer for a killit band.  It’s happening and the wheels are turning and its real.

I’m streamlining my energies, taking my power back from usurping and destructive influences at my own hands.  I can’t curse or demonize them b/c at this point they are me.  I’m confident that through spiritual&physical habits and ritual I’ll uncover a storehouse of energy there-and the road will open up and we’ll walk down it together in Victory.

Confessions of a Transmission Junkie

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

‘Rand, I’m tired
how would you like to be the boss for a while?’
‘Well, yeah.’  
My Life Is Good, Randy Newman

20 years in the stretches, past the swollen outroads of Empire, beyond the reach of any reasonable, sane or comfortable life. Sitting here, 37 years gone, the sun on my back and last night’s beer, last night’s wine on the floor beside me where I sit and type this.
It’s transmission that made me more than a dayshift worker, a nightshift worker, a zen outlaw and a rock&roll slob/slut. Sometimes I get on this site and pretend to post a blog simply for the charge it gives me. In some weird way, I’ve always wanted this and now it’s here.
My vision was based on the exemplary model set by Dr.Hunter Thompson. I just thought it was the coolest thing that the man could be stowed away in the mountains of CO with a satellite dish and a fax machine and transmit, send out the word and be heard. The Whip In was my Hotel Jerome for a while. I’d read my mail and drink IPAs with the staff, the hippie miscreants of South Austin and off-duty cops. I made a lot of friends that way. I must have handed out over 400 business cards to folks who blew through that vortex. I’m getting off track here. I now have transmission. It’s this blog. It’s just so…painful to open up a blank document on my computer and try to get serious. I’m a communicator. A transmission junkie.
I’m torn between fantastic heights of hyperbole and real motherfucking bummers of the sobering truth. High on outrage. High on transmission. I don’t know whether to lie or tell the truth on here. It’s all the same.  Although, the heart-on-sleeve stuff makes me cringe and I feel very ashamed for days after a post like that.
In Literary Speak what I am attempting is called Creative Non-fiction. I’m writing the story of my life on here, with you.  The story can unfold in any variety of ways, but mostly only cruel or kind.  I can cut my enemies balls off.  Or, I can paint myself as some kind of Don Juan ladies man instead of the lonely pervert I am, sitting here writing in my socks with a Michelada and blasting killit music with all the windows open to the great outdoors.
This site gives me what radio gave me all those years ago-Holy Transmission. Hitting PUBLISH is the thrill of craning the boom mic down to your mouth, hearing that absorbent silence out there in the headphones, leaning in under the ON AIR light and saying Hello, My People. 800 Watts.  Hot Damn.  There’s nothing like it.  This blog will have to do.
I’ve always been nothing except a poorman’s Henry Rollins, squeezing in transmission between: dayjobs&nightjobs, wrong broads, dimshit bosses&twatty landlords, cops on the highway, political maggots on the wire and true patriots stanchioned somewhere out there in their night.
My point is, I didn’t think I’d make it through. I wasn’t always vigilant in the post-midnight, catch-as-catch can hours before or after work. I didn’t think I’d make it and that drove me. Glad to say I was wrong. I’m looking down the barrel at 40 years of age and there is no reason that I can’t actualize this dream and make it my life.
I’m thinking of a further reach, people. Broader than the daily dirties we been living. Real media. Real time. Real transmission.

Won’t you join me? Stay tuned.

The Morning After

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

-for Baker

Streamers blowing blue, cascading down on smiling faces beneath the lighted ball. A palpable salve, shared in our hearts.  Something was over. Something was beginning. We could feel it. My black dove she beckons with her fingers for me to follow. She’s heading towards the stage. I follow. Just beneath the podium she turns to smile and then she disappears. The sudden wall of shoulders and arms in suits and beady eyes behind dark glasses. I’m close enough to hear what these men are hearing through their earsets, what they’re saying into the sleeves of their suit jackets. I can hear it and although I can’t quite understand it I know its bad.
I’m whisked through the kitchen. The white&black cooks standing back, standing down. The Mexican dishwashers-same. The double doors kick out into the November night. The cold tears into me. I’m forced down to my knees in front of the blaring headlights of an SUV idling in the puter cold. The weight and the specific hardness of a muzzled barrel pressing into the base of my skull.

I close my eyes and fall through new world barrios full of jungle heat and madness, they reek of cheap sex&life and blood and lust and murder-I’m moving down long lines of beaten faces, sallow faces of eastern european men standing in line down the block beneath a bleak&black winter sky-suddenly I am in a baking, clay-walled hovel where the man sits prostrate, kneeling in front of his magazine clips and Koran-I continue falling down the shores of the dirty river into a different desert town-I’m looking down at the child, the tape at stubby ends of his arms blown off above the elbow, the brown skin of his abdomen burned white, scarring and flaking off, the unholy terror in his eyes cutting me like a scythe until I cannot bear to look anymore.

I’m jarred awake. She’s lying across my middle. There is a Lonestar big-boy somehow still clutched in her sleep-stiff hand. The sun slices into the room and down the middle of my hangover painfully. The room is trashed. The morning radio-alarm jars me again. The chirping tones of liberal radio fine tune and screw my headache into pure yellow pain that shoots straight down to my stomach.
I push her off and make it to the bathroom.  I sit on the bowl and listen to the morning news, the chirpy announcer sounding quite pleased with herself as she segues into the sounds of a roaring and cheering crowd.

What a nightmare.

I used to want to be a music journalist. I still do, but I used to want to, too.

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2012 at 9:49 am

“My name is Billy Milano and I fucked your mom in the 80s.  Guaranteed.”
I was enjoying Municipal Waste even before half of S.O.D. joined them onstage on Day 1 at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest.

I missed the Dwarves like a jagoff.  I was sitting on some fucking rock on the corner of south 1st, talking on the phone with a hardon and watching the punkrock prom of ’em all pile in at the gate.

It doesn’t feel good to recognize other punkers out there anymore, Brother.  The scene’s lost its bite, nothing about it looks or feels original anymore.  As a subculture we look more like a Nirvana video than anything individual or threatening to the status quo.  Oh well, whatever, never mind.  It gave me pause and I missed the real punk rock shit of the Dwarves happening on the black stage just before Municipal Waste (who had me going straight for the pit when Billy&Dan Lilker did United Forces with them).

Beer is still $6 at FFF, which is pretty good considering all that’s happened in this country in the four years since I’d been.  The fest has grown up for sure.  So much the better for taking place on Auditorium Shores, too.  Waterloo Park was too close to the police station and the college, and it had a dirty-sewer, we-just-told-the-homeless-to beat it vibe to it.
I caught Lucero on the way in, sounding a little more soulful than I remember until I heard Nichols start singing Nights Like These with  his old, rocks-in-a-washing machine voice.  His voice sounded similarly dead&shredded, and Lucero is sounding more and more like they would do wise to put their whole body into this rock&roll, maybe tour a little less and lay off the juice and MTV Specials a little.

I headed to the black stage to catch Tomahawk because when Duane Denison shows up to do work you’d best be standing there and listen.  They didn’t have the best sound.  The bass suffered at times and seemed thin.  Don’t get me wrong Tomahawk was great.  It’s just that the technicalities of sharing a stage and soundsystem at a music festival with a grindcore band like Napalm Death doesn’t do a progressive and weird outfit like Tomahawk justice.  It can end up making them sound like just another -core band.
“What year is this?”  Denison cursed the kids, demanding who knew who the whole fest was named after.  He said he drove all night to be back in the city where it all began for him and other punk pioneers like the Big Boys.  I dug watching him wild out after seeing him so many times as the silent&gawky member of the Jesus Lizard, standing like some skinny stanchion next to Yow and Sims and sending out dissonant sus 9s on a silver Travis like bat killing radar.

Wing met me out front the festival on south 1st after Tomahawk’s set.  We headed straight back to black to catch Tom Gabel&Against Me!  Dude looked more like a black metal singer we all know and love than a recently transgendered punk rocker.  Against Me!’s music is weak to me, brother.  I mean, didn’t these guys ever listen to Twisted Sister?  ‘Cause they sound like a more melodic and more rock&roll Twisted Sister than anything resembling punk rock to me.  Wing agreed without a word.  We went to get 16s of Heineken but opted for Tecate when they had only Heineken Light left.
The fest is reppin’ Austin pretty good.  The cheap price of beer isn’t the only homage fest-orgainzers C3 pay to the easy living we do down here down here in the Pearl of the South.  The local tents, “storefronts” and booths looked like a mini-Austin skyline:
Frank and Austin Facial Hair ClubJudges’ Hill Restaurant and Lucky Js.

The weather was bright&warm, 80 degrees.  The girls were pretty and people were nice.  All to Austin’s credit.
But late into night 1, when Santigold was gettin ready to wreck shop, the place started looking like the set of a Hollywood western.  It’s ok-when it comes to music festivals, dust is always better than mud.

I changed my mind about seeing RUNDMC when I remembered that it wouldn’t be their original lineup and that one of the former hip-hop pioneers had a hit reality show on MTV.  I found myself wishing I had chosen Saturday for PiL alone.  Wing&I bumped Santigold crossing the 1st street bridge and cutting off our wristbands.  Girl sounded tight, brother.  For true.

Basically, they deliverin.  C3 and FFF Fest are doing work still.
We don’t get much true punkrock in Austin.  We miss out on a lot of the cut-your-balls off and weird progressive/aggressive rock&roll music out there.  Allot of what’s going on down here is safe and polished, punk rock or no, and all with the whiff of industry seeking approval.  It’s just accepted in the live music capital of the world that as a music act you should climb the ladder and do the thing that all bands have to do, from Bright Light Social Hour to Spoon and all the way from the Saxon Pub to Waterloo.

Anyhoo.  I approve of FFF.  I approve of the City of Austin.  This place is a paradise.  Day 1 was great.
It’s just the scene that I hate.

See you next year.

rock&roll

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2012 at 8:15 am

itching&scratching
like a tweaker
but it’s only
rock&roll
that
good old
goddamn them
sound
those songs
cut through history
like an X-ray
the day the President died
or when
Wolf,
punk rock&black,
blew into Chi-town with just
a .38 and a
record contract.

America gave the world rock&roll
and took everything else.
but sing on
brother Jams
we’ll feel you
coming down
cold radio towers in the wasteland
and blasting into
our temples of
sex&bone.