Jim Trainer

Archive for the ‘song’ Category

Have Heart on the Hard Road

In alcoholism, anger, anxiety, art, austin music scene, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, Buddhism, buddhist, day job, death, depression, employment, getting old, getting sober, going for the throat, Henry Rollins, mental health, mid life, middle age, Music, Performance, punk rock, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, solitude, song, songwriting, straight edge, suicide, travel, travel writing, truth, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on July 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

You should learn how to feel sad without actually being sad.
-Laurie Anderson’s Buddhist Teacher

Self-editing is humiliating. I didn’t start a blog called Going For The Throat to censor myself. There have been times over the years and I’m sure I’ll be called to do it again, for whatever dumb reason life may deal me at that moment. Admittedly, I’ve steered away from skewering certain individuals because it would’ve only esteemed them. Those come out in the wash, though. It took me a couple years but I was able to call out certain cunts on here who’s name I never would’ve mentioned before. Of course there are professional considerations, but if you’re a dayworker like I am you have very little control or catharsis-I’ve found that biting your tongue on a shitjob only rears in the end. You can abstain from speaking your mind but if some boss deserves it, it’s only a matter of time before your hands are on him in the alley behind the break room. Things have their way of working themselves out. Living in fear is worse than dying which might soudnd idealistic to you but any jerkoff who posts at least 600 words about himself on the world wide web every week isn’t playing with a full deck of practicality to begin with. What that means is if I’m crazy enough to dream it, you know I’m just plain crazy too. Self-editing, or censoring, is bullshit and I only do it if I’m at an impasse. If I’ve stared at the same post, and re-read it enough times to know it by heart, then it’s time to flush it and start anew. This isn’t poetry. At best, Going For the Throat is a gun-I’d only point it at you if I’m shooting to kill.

Greetings from the Hewitt Lake Club, Population 7. It looks like rain on Lily Bay, but it’s looked that way since 9. The sky is turning silver, there’s a low thunder rumbling and a high wind swaying the gingkoes and lone evergreen to the left of the screen porch where I write this self-censored post. Whether it rains or not means little. I’ll be wet by the time I get to the greasy barn and it’d be great to build a fire in the pod. Two days ago I would’ve had a completely different answer, with Ben in Brooklyn and the rain coming down it was just me and Blair sitting around the fire-in our pod, all day long. I was worried my resentments had ruined this trip, but woke up charged, on my day off yesterday, bounding out of bed at 6:30AM and writing over a thousand words about the horrid grind my life has become. Thank Christ that’s over with.

Out on the drive behind the cabin, by the garage where I sing, working on a tune called It’s Been A Long Time That I Should Be Far From Here-I realized something. Music, songs and songwriting, lyrics-these could be the last haven for wonder in these paling years. Fantasy. Myth. What I’ve rued since giving up the life-otherness, lust, change. Of course the fear is that perhaps I only use songs to help me through rough and large transitions. SWAMP EP, for example. I must’ve buried 3 exs alone by the end of The Winner, SWAMP‘s opening track. I resolved some issues I had with my dead Father in So Many Roads, acknowledged that I loved her in Back (I Want You) and laid out LA Telegram and Back In The Game like a dream map of the South, the Rockabilly Night and my new Spring in Austin ever dawning. I’ve penned some tunes since then and unearthed even more. I wrote down the titles to anywhere from 12-15 solid songs, songs that I’ve written that I like…which ain’t bad for someone who thinks he doesn’t write enough songs. So the fear is that, at the end of this ordeal, I’ll have 3 or 4 tunes that have helped me through, but I won’t be closer to my songwriting heroes. I’m sensing a theme here, and just wrote to Compatriot Cole this morning about never realizing what I call the Rollins ideal. Oh well. At least with songwriting it’s easy to keep in mind that it’s good work if you can find it. Songwriting is a different kind of spell-it’s writing and self actualizing but it involves the Gods on an intimate level. As a songwriter you can become anything (or anyone) you want to be. It’s instantaneous and only a fool could ask for more.

When peace comes it’s profound. The blood in my head sinks at the same rate as the sun, and I’ve expereienced dusks here both utterly sublime and completely ordinary. That’s all I ever wanted. I don’t need fireworks. I never wanted Heaven though I guess I settled for Hell. Didn’t I Brother. I never wanted a panacea or a cure all, but that could be depression talking (why bother trying to feel good when it’s such a short ride from the good life to the blues?). Know what I mean Sister? Life is…life. I got a good feeling about leaving this gig even if I only heard back from 3 of the 20 booking emails sent out from the greasy barn last Friday. I wrote another verse for an old tune and revisited one that’s been brimming from the heartlid before 10AM yesterday morning. This tenuous balance, periods of synchronous bliss coupled with torrid maelstroms of anger and irritation, sounds like life to me and of course there’s so much more I could do.

Sorry for the hodge-podge, good Reader. I tried to salvage the high points of my charge and kept the low points of the original missive to myself. No good deed goes unpunished ain’t it though, ’cause now I’m out here in the garage writing this. I flew the screen porch and came out here to wrap this fucking thing. Our pod got too full of good vibes and company, no room for me and my bitterness, which, truth be told is only killing me. Jill just walked by and said I could turn on the light if I wanted to. I told her I’d just suffer in silence and we laughed, this 86 year old Artist and me, hard, because she’s right. I could turn on the light if I wanted to.

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The Winner

In austin music scene, Jim Trainer, Love, music performance, Performance, singer-songwriter, song, songwriting on February 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm

When my Nissan died
on the corner of 49th
the morning we split
I slept in it
I had my nose
re set
in my good friend Butch’s kitchen

I always hated that car
now it sits in the very same spot
when we broke up I really hit the jackpot

She’s the queen
of the parlour scene
up in Philly
down to New Orleans
she likes to tell
everyone
what a cold hearted bastard I’ve become

she had very insightful, poignant things
to say that I forgot
when we broke up I really hit the jackpot

‘cause a lie is a lie
and a cheat is a cheat
there was too many heads
rollin’ round in our bed
and too many hands
around my neck
and the streets are filled with the dead

her millionaire dad
probably bent out of shape
when he looks back
to her Ivy League days
but her wedding
it was on T.V.
all that night and the next day

she’ll probably run around that way
until she gets caught
when we broke up I really hit the jackpot

My good friend
he lives downtown
if I get blue
Butchie’ll come around
We’ll watch the news
through our teeth
and we’ll stare at the tube in disbelief

27 rooms, a couple thousand-acre plot
looks like when we broke up she really hit the jackpot

Christmas time
in Guerneville town
her father’s face
her torn gown
I wasted him
I hit him so hard
they had to carry him out to his car

I wasted 7 years of my life
when I gave that quarterback a shot
shoulda said “Look buddy, you really hit the jackpot.”

The Friend Catcher

In alcoholism, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, blues, Correspondence, getting sober, going for the throat, Letter Writing, mental health, Music, music performance, Performance, punk rock, recovery, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, song, songwriting, Spoken Word, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on August 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm
The number one thing that makes us grow as human beings is pain.
-Damien Echols on spending eighteen years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Jimbo 🙂  Thanks so much for the letter and poem.  The thought and intention put into it is palpable and exactly what I needed.  I forgot how powerful words can be in this form.  Thanks for reminding me.  I’ll say it made me feel inspired and pheonix-like, ha ha.  I’m going to keep it with me on the road.  I’ll keep you posted too
.
-Brother Chris

Y’all sure know how to make a guy feel loved.  And it’s just like you said you’ve got to be the love you seek.  Which is lofty and idealistic and perfect for an old romantic like me.  And there needs to be a saying for when good shit keeps happening.  Am I right?  I mean, we know the hits keep coming is a good one when the shitstorm is raining down and the mud is rising up.  There’s Kismet, that wink from out in the unknown saying ‘Yass‘ ‘Go Forward’,  or ‘Word’ … I’m not examining this journalistically, but do we not have some colloquialism or turn of phrase for when good fortune continues to arrive?  It just gets better and better?  You kidding me?  That’s a go-to, for me, when the shit’s so bad you gotta attack it with marrow scraping sarcasm.  Ultimately, when you’ve spent the last 25 years battling depression you have the luxury of not feeling bad.  Not ever feeling good, mind you, and when I say not feeling bad I mean not feeling like there are two tons of hot metal slowly pouring down from a white sky of pain and just when you’re numb as a statue, the sun sinks, the heat gives and you’re left like some life-sized figurine, the night air sticky and humid and giving the copper of your flesh a patina of green.  I don’t know the parlance of victory or strength, let alone the unassuming joy in eternity’s sunrise. All I know is I haven’t smiled so much in a very long time, last night, beginning to read all your wonderful comments.  As a recovering depressaholic I’m loathe to hang my hat on any kind of cure-all but it sure is nice when I rediscover and Y’ALL REMIND ME THANK YOU VERY MUCH, what this work is for and exactly what we’re doing here.  With the blog and the everything, what is it, we’re sending out, to other souls like radio, to connect.  Could it be that you, my followers, are all part of my generation?  Does that even fucking matter?  I’ve made connections with folks I never would’ve even met, and I continue to connect with them in profound, life affirming ways.  My letter to Brother Chris, quoted above for example.  Maybe I’ll reprint my initial letter to him some Letter Day down the road when I can’t come up with  even a pastiche of a blog like the last one (let alone a slick 6 or mean 8).  All I wrote to him-all I did-was shine back what he had only been shining out.  I wished him well, in print and earnestly ( I can’t even begin to describe my joy about the power of the written/typed word, so I won’t ).  I wrote him a letter.  Remember those?  Before all of this, ever went down?  Before the Terrible Century, back when rock and roll meant so fucking much and the attention and the girls were only caveats?   We played it like we meant it because we fucking did.  Now that that storm of anger/August has passed like a warhead, and I can walk down west 6th with a little Philly in my step, I’ve caught up on sleep and I can dig my heels in a faceoff with my anger, do work and get back to the grind.  As far as your boundless love and strength, sent to me vis-a-vis Facebook and etc.,  y’all sure know how to make a guy feel loved.  Oh, and I never had a problem with anger as an emotion.  Aho.  It’s just that I’m too old to be missing sleep over it.  My needs in service to the body are many.  In some kind of cosmic joke, my hatred and anger have raged on and only grown ha ha ha but the body is tired and soft.  But also wisdom has been accrued, even all those fuckaround years when I thought it was a curse, I have done nothing if not gotten wise, and I can’t unsee it which of course was the problem…oh christ I’m a riot eh?  From the depths of loathing to the christ like idealism of a poet.  Believe me, I know all about being me.  Which could be a perfect beginning to wisdom, Know Thyself.  And as a superstitious X-depressaholic I’ll play it safe, hedge my bets and say that on my good days I have found a way to put rock and roll into writing.  Songwriting, well, let’s open that can of snakes some other time, eh good reader?  When I say y’all are keeping me alive you have no idea how true it is.  We keepers of the flame, old punkrockers and yogis and wives and laborers.  Oh yeah and the last part, the alive part…with my phasers set to choke the last 2 weeks I had forgotten to be that wisdom.  Alive.

And here for you.
Trainer
Austin, TX

Winter Birds

In austin music scene, Music, music performance, singer-songwriter, song on August 13, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Love of my Life, let go of my hand
I’m about to be reborn
through the canal, to the other side
Not sure who I’ll be
We lit us furious so madly in love
we burned our thousand suns
Time to cleave the fruit from the rind
destiny

I was 11 when my Father left
my sisters, momma and me
I’m as old now as he was then
you gonna have to set me free

Love and Death are the curious things
but in Life you can be sure
“A ship is but a building until
it leaves the shore”
I have his watch, his old cologne
a polaroid of him waving bye
All the phones hangin off they hooks
sayin Mama don’t you cry’

Does the sun in the sky need love?
Is the moon up there all alone?
How can the man in his cell be more free
than a King up on his throne?

“Born into trouble as the sparks fly upward”
fate trumps mystery
Lookin for home but we’re bound to leave
home will we ever be?
I been singin this roadsong so long
the one my daddy taught us
You been standing by the clothesline since summer
see what them winter birds’ve brought us

Let me go and as you float away
take a look down at your feet
As the Earth drops from view
you realize it’s you who’s set free

(c) 2011 Jim Trainer

Bridges

In Bevan McShea, Jim Trainer, singer-songwriter, song on January 13, 2015 at 12:00 pm

pullin’ into town
I admire new architecture
but as I drew closer
I began to hear them whisper
then I heard them yell
“Boy, what the hell you tryna do here for?
We told you after the fire, we don’t suffer liars
and we don’t like you.”

well I roam this land perpetually
tryna find a reason to just be me
and she lived here
among the tall wallflowers
I left her here
by the old clock chimin hours

she was there with me
on the killing floor
but it was only me
who walked through
the door
I just came back to
see if there’s any chance that
she plays in the same band
does she got a new man?

well I roam this land perpetually
tryna find a reason to just be me
and she lived here
among the tall wallflowers
I left her here
by the old clock chimin hours

pullin down her street
I can feel my heart racing
as the crowd gathered round
they began to pick up stones
I climbed those stairs alone
the crowd swarmed around
but when I knocked on her front door
her porch light went out

there’s a train rollin’ in
there’s a moon in the sky
there’s no reason to live
and no reason to die
but she lived here
among you tall wallflowers
I left her here
won’t the old clock chime a year?

she lived here
I saw her in a dream once
years ago, before the fire
before I knew what losin was

Recorded live at Melodies Cafe on 1/9/15 for the Bluebird Cabaret, Songs of Sadness&Light, featuring
Savy Avrimedes Guthrie
Mark Thousands
Andrew Meoray
and Cardinal Arms.

Philadelphia Blues

In Jim Trainer, Music, music performance, Performance, Philadelphia, singer-songwriter, song on January 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm

walkin down Hazel street one day
I heard a man say “I’ll kill you.”
a little ill at ease when I’d walk these streets
I don’t know about you
but there’s no such thing as paranoia
in a town where they shoot you fer yer shoes
no respite, no mercy, the Philadelphia blues

in a city of millions I can’t see how
the two of you could end up at the same hotel
you sit at the same table share the same scenic view
what my ex-wife and my girlfriend
are discussing I haven’t a clue
must be hatchin plans to give a man the Philadelphia blues

little umbrella girl in the pourin rain
with the snout of an elephant or a shrew
gonna get it all down with her pad&pen
dirty whore knows what to do
gonna get it all down gonna mark it all down
maybe put it on pay-per-view
a sad little movie starring you, called the Philadelphia blues

ain’t a bar in town that’ll serve me now
their doors closed to me and their bolted, too
but if there’s a bar in Hell, gonna order me a whiskey&vermouth
and say “Hello Satan! Something I wanna talk about with you.
You don’t have to giver cancer Just give her some
Philadelphia blues.” 

walkin down Hazel Street today
I slapped my pistol down in that pig’s face
we all got things in our lives we can’t undo
rain pourin down on the beltway, I’ll be in Little Rock around 1 or 2
put the pedal down makin miles from the Philadelphia blues

Jim Trainer returns to Melodies’ Cafe this Friday January 9, performing with a stellar lineup including Mark Thousands, Cardinal Arms and Andrew Meoray.
Songs of Sadness&Light
this Friday January 9
at Melodies’ Cafe
2 East Lacaster Avenue
Ardmore, PA
8 PM

Waiting for the Lightning

In Music, music performance, singer-songwriter, song on July 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

I was so young and wet
love hadn’t left me yet
Stood out in the dark fields of the republic
waiting for the lightning

Her black hair would turn blonde in the spring
we climbed the hill and I gave her my ring
High on atop the town and everything
we waited for the lightning

dark clouds they gather deep
rain pocks the dusty ground
but no flash, no spark, no heat
just thunder through the old house
in a low, rumbling sound

What will be will be
what will haunt will haunt
Heron hang their heads in the pond
they know better than to wait for the lightning

When the sun hung high and white up there
was not rain streaking in her hair
There was no rain no lightning there
beneath the willow

just thunder through the old house
in a low, rumbling sound

Lifetimes and miles away
came the news one day
From the storm she and our daughter stowed away
as lightning cracked the willow

(c) 2010 Jim Trainer

To download this song and view Jim Trainer’s On The Hill session, click here.