Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#34: Dear Gallardo

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2019 at 8:40 am

The Office of Jim Trainer
P.O. Box 49921
Austin TX

Laurie Gallardo
KUTX Public Media Studios
300 W. Dean Keeton, A0704
Austin TX

1/26/19, 10:56AM

…the Zen master is evidently playing the long game—the longest game of all, in fact, which is eternity.

Ahoy Gallardo

How instantly folks must feel at once connected with you, having experienced your voice in their cars and homes, and of course through the love of music.  The magic of these mediums is constant and being at the helm of either is unmatched. I love singing and playing music but I really love speaking into the cardioid and being broadcast onto the city.  I’m in awe of radio but more than a little jaded with playing music. For one thing, I’m not nearly as depressed as I used to be. I’ll have to re-examine the need to scream my fucking head off onstage, maybe even think about technique and that a song could serve something other than the devil inside.  The blues is just a good man feeling bad and I’ll be a punk rocker until I die. Of course it’s an ethos and we know this but my point is the reasons for me to be up under the hot lights aren’t as crucial as they used to be–thanks to psychotherapy and whatever Gods have fell in love with me. Radio on the other hand, well–nothing really trumps that feel does it, the absorbency of the atmosphere out there, the command and diction through hot ‘phones and carried on a radio wave through hard stanchioned walls and high-reaching steel and glass.  And when you put on Bob Mould or The Ramones and for 3 or 4 minutes all is well with the world, the knives of the mind have ceded and we’re still and completely engaged. Punk rock may be the most important socio-political movement of our time. It certainly dwarfs most of what the square public swore by in the 20th Century. Punk was unerringly prescient and for me it’s been my unflinching “why” and armament searing through any amount of “how” and fuckaround, red tape and small hours on shift and paying taxes, listening to the news and anyway shucking and jiving and taking what they’re giving until I can get under those hot lights or sit at the helm as the ON AIR sign goes red.

I feel a kinship with you and it’s not just the songs you play.  It speaks to the magic of the medium, that we can enjoy the music in the same way and at the same time but from our own corner of nowhere.  Rock and roll’s charm isn’t a deluded one. We know things are breaking down and that the world runs on power and greed. Rock and Roll doesn’t deny.  We celebrate, we shake and groove in calamitous tones and we celebrate how inadequate we often are to overcome the beast within. The heart can be savage and the confidence of decay may be our only faith.  Nick Cave and The Sea and Cake. These are all the reasons why I wanted to write you, reach out and say YES and THANK YOU. Afternoons in this town can feel like you’re waitin’ round to die and the tragedy of it’s compounded when you look around to see you’re planted on the hot tar with a horde of patrons of horrible Capitalism and a religion of money and death.  But you put it on ain’t ya and we revel the littlest inch, we rattle our chains and make it, off the deathway into the carport and throw everything down on the other side of the door just to get online and lookup the band that gave us that sound.  That thin wild mercury sound, that killit punkrock music and couplet that cracks the hard nut of solipsist suffering that is working full-time in the America.  Man, I really tried to keep this concise, at least not be entirely wild and poetic. This unhinged missive and cracked narrative only speaks to how much I love rock and roll.  Put another dime in the jukebox baby. I’ve no regrets for how it makes me feel nor even this nonlinear letter to my beloved hometown DJ.

Letter writing never fails to circumvent writer’s block.  I’m happy to be writing but I can only commit so much Personal Journalism.  It’s bad, Laurie. Blogging is a dirty business–it’s self-mired and passe, unreliable and insane.  It all comes down to craft, though, and only if the craft is being practiced. I’m sick of myself so I write about that.  I get unruly and blue, so, that too. I fantasize, ostracize and get wiggy with truth, or at least come to what Dr. Thompson has called the Wisdom.  I can get there and it’s usually a line or two that’ll bring me around on the idea of living that will justify spending some hours hitting the keys by a grey window and drinking AA-levels of coffee while occasionally blasting Shellac or Cory Branan before I dive in for another go round and exciting draft of Personal Journalism.  We’re all mad here.  Thank you for you.  I can’t help feeling like I’m in High School when I listen to you which leaves me wishing for my youth if only so I could burn through Marlboro Reds again, take black smoke into pink lungs, maybe read The Rebel and get inspired by the songs of the street, dare to be unjaded and move despite the acute tenderness of being in love with a world that’s destined to end.  There weren’t many good things about High School and sadly the worst things about it are only prevalent today. So are our days now. High School never ends.

See you on the airwaves.  Keep rocking. If the kids are united then we’ll never be divided.

Ab irato,

Austin TX

And openly I pledged my heart to the grave and suffering land, and often in the consecrated night, I promised to love her faithfully until death, unafraid, with her heavy burden of fatality, and never to despise a single one of her enigmas. Thus did I join myself to her with a mortal cord.
-HOLDERLIN, The Death of Empedocles

  1. […] My first letter to KUTX DJ Laurie Gallardo on the pain of being human and the salve of rock and roll… […]

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