Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘D.C. Bloom’

Tonight The Monkey Dies

In anxiety, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, day job, depression, getting old, mental health, mid life, poem, Poetry, politics, punk rock, self-help, Writing, writing about writing, WRITING PROCESS on December 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm
Yesterday I got a call from the outside world
but I said no in thunder.
-Jim Harrison

The problem with storytelling is you need an ending.  Closure.  For the audience.  But life is messy.  Some (me) might even say chaotic.  Beneficent, malevolent or indifferent (me again).  I like to consider myself an optimistic nihilist.  Like Maureen Ferguson, I believe in everything and nothing.  It’s because I like to keep the slate clean, and I should hope that if there is a God he exists somewhere outside our grasp, certainly not the God here, in these mortals’ minds, telling you what to do and killing each other just to live.  No.  Not a fan of the plebeian mind.  Simple truths are the best kind but the story doesn’t end until the teller takes his last breath.

I’ve had the title in my draft box for a long time.  I don’t know if this post will do the idea justice, but, fuck it-I’ll have a go anyway, sitting here drinking tea in a dead Confederate’s palace in the Pearl of the South.  Other titles in my draft box are Inner Critic, War and Radio Days.  We both know I confront myself on this platform, because I’m a transmission junkie with an accountability problem.  I’ve melded a need for self realization with the desire to perform.  When I tore the fourth wall down and invited you in, I was able to write about wanting to be a writer-which is the biggest boon and most beneficial thing to ever happen to me.  It’s unfortunate that the subject will always be me, but you see yourself in the work and I’ve built a robust readership for the blog writing about what I know.  Maybe D.C. is right that”blogs are passe”-but the only problem I have with it is coming up with an ending.

Another week has blown by.  The sands of time are wearing away the bulwark of me.  I’m steadied in the storm of it but I’m worn away and getting closer to diminishing returns…All we are is dust in the wind and there’s something extremely important about that-there is no other time to come together and do work.  This is it.  We won’t know what it all meant until it’s over and even then we can spin it in any way that helps us go down to rest, gone forever but here to stay.  What the fuck has just happened here?  I’m scared to die but worse-scared I will have never lived.  It’s our work that will save us.  Every time.  Our work that will connect us, free us, build us up and knock us down (ye tyrants take heed).  I feel a grave need to get on top of these years, get my kicks in and make my mark.  I want to be of service.

Ever since November 8 you’ve heard me say I want to be political.  But I can’t even do my taxes without my eyes rolling back in my head.  There isn’t a positive spin to the calamitous and grasping mind.  Ain’t any closure here, really.  Just some signpost between rage and sloth, a plumb line for us to gauge how far we’ve come, and how much monumentally more we must do.  A slick 600 words like this keeps me from bloodying myself on the bars, helps me paint with all the beautiful colors of pain. It ain’t the end and it’s never over until it is.  But see, if we do our work and put everything into it but the blood on the boards, then we’ll march on.  From the blackest night we’ll yell down through the centuries.  Love is stronger than death.  

See you next year motherfucker.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In magic, magician, Performance, Poetry, poetry reading, self-publishing, singer songwriter, singer-songwriter, Spoken Word on February 15, 2016 at 11:33 am

POET AND SINGER SONGWRITER JIM TRAINER RELEASES “SEPTEMBER”, HIS SECOND FULL LENGTH COLLECTION OF POETRY, AT THE 709 MANSION IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN

Jim Trainer will perform and read from September at the 709 Mansion in downtown Austin on Friday February 19.  Also featuring Magician Jack Darling and singer-songwriter D.C.Bloom.  The Reverend Jason Woolery will host the evening.

Jim Trainer’s work has appeared in Raw Paw 6: Alien, The Waggle, Philadelphia Stories, Divergent Magazine, Anthology Philly, A Series of Moments and PoetryInk. The release of September, his second full length collection of poetry, coincides with the founding of Yellow Lark Press. Trainer lives in Austin, Texas where he serves as curator of Going For The Throat, a weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance.
jimtrainer.net

Jack Darling is a magician, actor, writer, comedian and founder of magic troupe Turning Tricks with The Darlings, who were named Frontera Fest’s Best of Fest 2012.  Stirring up trouble on stages all over town is Jack’s specialty, in appearances including The Velveeta Room, The Charlie Hodge Show, Bedpost Confessions and Adriane Shown’s Hell&Back Cabaret.
jackdarlingmagic.com

Singer-songwriter D.C. Bloom has released 3 full length albums and one EP, including his latest, “The Rest Is Commentary”, debuting in 2014.   This former speech writer for the FBI will talk about mortality and open heart surgeries, friendship and the love of a good woman, and the many things he’s learned whilst streaming Ferris Bueller’s Day Off over 800 times.
dcbloom.com

Reverend Jason S. Woolery teaches full time in the College of Education at Texas State University, and divides the rest of his time between acting, songwriting, and writing…always writing. He’s also the father of 2 girls, a 6 year and 6 month old, and a 2 year old boy.  When he’s not fostering the healthy writing habits of his students with the Central Texas Writing Project, he manages to read an awful lot of comic books, which he’d totally blame on the aforementioned kids, but that’s just not true.

about September:
“…tough as crucifixion nails, with a switchblade wit and as sensitive as a Geiger counter.”

Jim Trainer could easily be writing about his scrappy past as a day laborer, a tempestuous old romance or even the muse itself. All appear and disappear throughout September, leaving Trainer in turns marveled and stumped, sitting at his typewriter at the end of summer. He’s hardly mournful. His past and his love and even the muse may have gone but the wonder of Trainer and the poetry in this collection is that he’s able to make an altar of their graves, and find repose in the Autumn of life.

“Every single poem has the teeth of a 20 year old, tempered with the wisdom gleaned from twice that much time living the life.”
Central Texas Writing Project (CTWP)

 

“September” Austin Release-An Evening of Poetry, Spokenword and Magic

with

Jim Trainer (SWAMP EP/Farewell to Armor, September/Yellow Lark Press)

Jack Darling (Turning Tricks With The Darlings)

D.C. Bloom (The Rest Is Commentary)

and host Reverend Jason S. Woolery (Central Texas Writing Project, Texas State)

Friday February 19, 2016

at the

709 Mansion

709 Rio Grande

Austin TX 78701

8pm

Poster pressed and perfectly bound copies of September available for $15.  Cash only.

CONTACT:

Jim Trainer

512-203-6288

jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com

jimtrainer.net

 

Jim TrainerJack Darling

dc

Jason Woolery

Yellow Lark Press

 

“summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street”

In Poetry on May 15, 2014 at 8:07 am

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Bob Dylan’s Birthday Bash
Hosted by D.C. Bloom
at the Whip In
1950 S I H 35
Austin, TX 78704
7-11pm

You ain’t going nowhere else than to the Whip In on May 24th to celebrate Bob Dylan’s 73rd birthday! And the time it ain’t a-changin’ … It’s pretty firm. It’s gonna start at 7 pm in the beer garden! … The Man in me – D.C., that is – is gonna host this million dollar bash that will cost you NOTHING to attend! (Tips appreciated, though, natch … ) I want you, I want you, I want you (to come) so bad! … I pity the poor immigrant and/or native born citizen who misses this party!! Bob’s gonna be 73, but we’re gonna be forever young on the 24th cuz not even a hurricane or an idiot wind is gonna keep the following folks from singing a few Bob Dylan songs for ya’ll! … As host of the evening, all I really wanna do is open the evening by singing a couple myself and then introducing Ashley Monical, Don Pedigo, Mo McMorrow, Jim Trainer, Nathan Hamilton, B Sterling Archer, Pete Minda, Danny Fast Fingers, Amanda Pearcy, Josh Luckenbach, Dana McBride, Leeann Atherton, Amy Zamarripa, Cary Cooper, Jean Synodinos, Penny Ney, and the Girl From the North Texas Hill Country. Pete Minda’s band will be serving as the house band for the evening! And we’re gonna be callin’ em the Elston Guns, after the stage name a youthful Robert Zimmerman used in Hibbing, MN. Performers being added hourly, so check back! … Oh, and there WILL be cake!!! Come!!!

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Bedpost Quickies

A Sex&Relationship Based, Open Performance Series, And Spinoff of the Wildly Successful Bedpost Confessions

Tuesday June 2
at the
ND
502 Brushy Street
Austin, TX
Sign Up’s at 7
Show Starts at 7:30

Events Page on Facebook

Friday June 6
Melodie’s Cafe
Cardinal Arms
Mark Thousands
Jim Trainer
Kettle Pot Black
Andrew Meoray Milgore
2 E Lancaster Avenue
Ardmore, PA 19003
7:30pm

After cutting his teeth for years backing legendary bluesman Shakey Lyman in Philadelphia, Jim Trainer came down to Austin, TX following that Americana sound. He wanted to emulate the taut economy of song and high lonesome poetry he heard coming from all those great Texas folk and country outlaws.
Enlisting the talents of Justin Kolb (Jesse Dayton/Bobby Flores) on upright bass and Billy Brent Malkus (The Texas Sapphires/Nathan Hamilton) on telecaster and harmonies, Trainer was able to realize his roots-rock sound and vision. The acoustic combo has performed at Momo’s, the Scoot Inn and Romeo’s when not attending to residencies at the Whip In and the Beale Street Tavern. Trainer now plays solo the Third Thursday of every month at House Wine in the 04 (details below).
The characters Trainer writes of know pain and heartache but it doesn’t stop them from being in love with the gamble of life. His songwriting takes the listener with him down that dusty road where his anti-heroes might find redemption and Victory even if it means losing on their own terms.

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Saturday June 7
An Evening of Poetry&Spoken Word
Don Bajema
Charlie O’Hay
Jim Trainer
Big Blue Marble Bookstore
551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119
SHOW TIMES TBA

Please join us for a great night of poetry and spoken word. Jim Trainer returns to Philly to perform and read with great writer Don Bajema and wonderful poet Charlie O’Hay.

Jim Trainer is a communicator. Growing up in the hardcore scene of the early 90’s taught him everything he needed to know about the real work. Jim Trainer believes in rock and roll. It may be our only salvation in this dark world. He’s carried the torch for independent media, broadcasting as one of the early voices of Radio Volta(88.1fm)and writing for the Philadelphia IMC’s Wire in the early aughts. He’s appeared as The Reason, broadcasting on WKDU 91.7fm while writing for its Communiqué. He’s been the driver for several internationally touring metal bands taking him to every state in the Continental U.S. He’s followed that Americana sound all the way down to Austin, TX where he works as a Singer/Songwriter and contributes to Verbicide Magazine. “We are not that different, you and I.” If you hear his voice on the air or read his words on the page, Jim Trainer is trying to break down the separation they have built between us. Jim Trainer believes you can be set free and that communication is the key.

Novelist, screenwriter, actor and performer Don Bajema was born in St. John’s, New Foundland, Canada in 1949. He is the author of two highly acclaimed collections of short stories, Boy In The Air and Reach, now published as one volume, Winged Shoes and a Shield, by City Lights. As an actor, Bajema first appeared on stage in the West Coast premiere of Sam Shepard’s “Curse of the Starving Class”. With a lead role in the 1983 film “Signal Seven”, Bajema began a long-time collaboration with groundbreaking independent film director Rob Nilsson. He had a lead role in Nilsson’s 1988 Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize winner “Heat and Sunlight” and he wrote and starred in the 1996 film “Chalk,” which Nilsson directed. He has appeared in more than a dozen feature films, most recently Carl Franklin’s 2002 film “High Crimes”. A favorite on the “spoken word circuit”, Bajema has toured extensively in the US, Canada and Europe, performing at hundreds of clubs, theaters and universities. He has shared the spoken word stage with the likes of Hubert Selby, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, and Jim Carroll. He is a former world-class track and field athlete who competed in the 1972 US Olympic trials and played football for legendary coach Don Coryell at San Diego State University. He currently lives with his family in New York City.

Charles O’Hay is the recipient of a 1995 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary publications including Gargoyle, South Carolina Review, Brooklyn Review, West Branch, Mudfish, and New York Quarterly.
The author lives with his wife and daughter in eastern Pennsylvania. Far From Luck, his first full-length collection of poems is out now through Lucky Bat Books and available on Amazon.com.

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Austin’s No Shame Theatre
5 Minutes Anything Goes
Salvage Vanguard Theatre
Manor Road
Austin, TX
Sign Up’s At 9:30 PM
Show Starts At 10:00 PM

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Third Thursdays at House Wine
Roots, Blues&Rockabilly provided by
Jim Trainer
every Third Thursday at
House Wine
408 Josephine Street
Austin, TX 78704
7-10 PM
The Next Third Thursday is Thursday June 19

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On Poetry

In Poetry on May 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

Perhaps this title is misleading. I’d rather talk about my life. Perhaps I am trying to say that poetry is life. That’ll do. Poetry is life.

But editing is a motherfucker.

Your work has impressed me. That is to say it has left an impression on me. This won’t be a critique of anyone’s work. Just some observations about my editing process and ultimately the truth about my relationship with my own work.
For my first read through of work submitted, I thought I’d have to be critical. Some work would have to be bad, so other work could be good, right? Well…poems written with economy and utility in mind-that is to say, works that had a simple message and used as simple a language as could be found, were the ones that passed first muster. Others, with perhaps a rough or messy message-a not immediately clear message-again, I was critical. It was on these poems that I’d move on&into the language and start editing from there. But instead I grew despondent when I made the connection and turned the editorial and critical eye upon myself. Me&my work.
And so came the heavy, barbed question-what makes my work good? And, also, thee dreaded and most hated: Is my work good?
To keep up with the publishing schedule on here, I had to reach for surefire, simple works of simple message and language. Those poems, such as the “orphaned triplets” of D.C. Bloom, work for a reason. They get in and at you, speak it, say their peace and peace out. There aren’t any rediscoveries or further unwrapping. They’re like a song, and a good friend. You know who they are and you can visit them.
The obtuse ones, they live and breathe on their own. Their meaning can unwrap and reveal itself even while not in their presence. You go back and pick at it some more. You can’t tell what it is that has grabbed you or even if they have grabbed you at all. It’s just that you’re back. And you’ve been thinking about them.
It’s also true that some work did all of these things. Some work gave a knotty message in a simple way. And some went to the extreme of simply saying their truth and, for one poem in particular by Amelia Raun, it was such a beautiful truth.

Is my work good?
Oh boy is that a can of fucking worms.

Through you and the beautiful work you’ve submitted, I really had to examine my relationship to my work and further question the value of the inner critic. And personally, I’ve had to reevaluate the function of my Art. My Art, once and always a salve, but then I whipped the bad blues so I had no more nights to put in there, in that cold building and as a dayworker of desperation. Of course I felt like I had to create all those years, in order to survive and transform, understand pain and use it-or, mulch it into bitterness and use that. But without blues, well shit-I almost needed a problem. And personally it would have to be HARD, right? Isn’t that so my Friend?
To be authentic I’d have to suffer? The work would have to be bled and I would have to bleed it out. Scrutinize. Procrastinate. Get drunk. Jerk off. Fuck her even though I said we should be friends.

Maybe.
I snapped out of it. Took off the critic’s hat and got back to the task at hand. Editing. And what, as Editor, did I discover?
My work is good. And so is yours.
There are things that have proven to be effective when executing an Art form such as poetry. Such as narrative, point of view and/or interplay of pronouns and etc. For me, all that should serve to bring it all back home and make it something memorable that another (your audience) can take in and appreciate.
Other than that, how could I judge, really?

Some are wordsmiths. Some have the soul of a poet. Some have the soul of a poet but perhaps could use a deepening of their relationship to words, or-further consideration of the general relationship to words.

Some poems I have sat on only to find they were sitting on me. And some,like the the love irons by J.J. Duval, just fucking floored me from the gate. Brother Charlie O’Hay knocked it out of the park. Twice. And of course he did. The man is at it everyday. I love the reverent language of Bevan McShea and it may be because I know the man is living it. I have undying respect and love for Lamont Steptoe and we should all take heed-that all we are ever doing is standing on the shoulders of giants. Our ancestors and great men like him. My friendship with great writer Jason Woolery is a boon to me. The man gives me a shot in the arm every time I need it and his work is strong, well thought out and executed. And memorable. The Reverend Kevin P.O’Brien’s work still has the love and wonder I have always appreciated in his poetry; tinged with both the beauty and despair of annihilation. The bluntness and cunning, and what I like to call the “slow knife” of Salvatore Cerceo’s work gave Tsunami Dreams an unmistakable realness and menace. And Maureen Ferguson’s Pale Bellied Mourner is still flying around in my ribcage, her writing style tickles me to no end when picturing that sassy woman in the field with binoculars on and smoking an L&M.

All of the poetry submitted wasn’t written for intellectual reasons. Nor were their reasons simply of an artistic nature. Some held themselves up to that bar, in either language or creativity. But they’re all heartsongs. Songs of the heart. They’re all lamentations or meditations-spells, or otherwise imminent realizations. They’re all either creations or the raw materials needed to create. And they all have a truth.

I don’t have to assume an intellectual stance when editing heart songs. And I don’t have to find fault in your work or mine, in order for it to be good.
I’ve got everything I need. I know my work is good. I know it’s necessary. And I know, like everything, it’s a process. Your beautiful work and craftsmanship helped me realize this. And so much more. So ultimately, as editor (of your work and mine), I simply presented it.

Or, I didn’t.

Lastly, and most important-there’s a whole world spinning out there that has nothing to do with Art. Real creation happening every moment. It can be missed in a moment or for a lifetime. Especially when it’s gone. Especially when it’s gone. And that’s why poetry.

VOX POPULI VOX DEI
Trainer
Austin, TX

SEND YR POEMS, RANTS, MISSIVES&GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
to:
Jim Trainer
EdItor, GFtT
jamesmichaeltrainer@gmail.com

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Cold Pecan

In D.C. Bloom on April 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

It was a passionless peck
that Judas Kiss
a cold embrace
a hand on face
& eyes that met
but never meant
TO LINGER
longer
than duty called
& decorum allowed
It was a message mixed
SIGNALS CROSSED
that set the wheels
that waxed the seal
& hardly mattered
in tatters of hearts
& minds
over matter
that universe stuff
& mounted on a wall
It was a playbook call
the GOOD end RUN
that went much longer
& felt much stronger
& hurt no one
a game not won
or lost
nor tried
but true to word
& deed of TRUST DENIED
It was meant to be
but never was
a dangersome dalliance
a busted alliance
a broken record
that left no trace
or track
in sands
of time that STILL MOVES ON
but has nowhere
nowhere
to go

by D.C. Bloom

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A Fortnight of Poetry in the Years of Prose

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2013 at 8:43 am

Taking the digital back to analog
and the analog back to black
purging this here and now of scenes best left
on cutting room floors
The hoping machine grinds to a halt,
its whirrs and hums drowned out now
in a sea of simple stoney silence
pirates camp on the fringes of reason
on the outsides of chance
plotting to rob the graves of the
ville des lumierres
at today’s midnite
horses gallup into the blue night
chasing venial sins back to the canyons
fortune’s wheels seek the simpler times
of wasted nights and puzzled glances
carrots and sticks, those needed prods that both
winners and losers
cannot do without
new songs played for the first time
their choruses loud against trivial pursuits
and poor choices
Sweet Emmylous of the night
the sweethearts who choose clowns
over cowboys
and grams
over ounces of pain
the fortnight’s steady barrage begins
weeds and bran, cats and dogs
animal instincts and inconvenient truth
new eyes that see what could be
what could never have been
poetry and prose, the good money of good work
hides skinned
drinking slowly from parting glasses that now hold nothing but
tears
sorrow, wisdom, resignation
and shame
The ever-so-sleight of hands, changed plans
dinners rolled and cream soured
leagues above, leagues below
gallic tongues whispering from Northern hills
poor men with few options
they make decisions without emotion
with only the need to get it right in this one moment
charm and candor’s limits
the warm embrace into a world never known
never seen before or since
hands of fate cosmically turning back rhyme
and reason
slander and treason
true believers of kismet, of dittoed facts
shared sentiments and scarlet sediment
ears playing proverbial tricks
hearing what they want to hear
believing what they know could never really be
remembering the we,
the beautiful rides of fashion moving ever forward
contraband passed with knowing glances
in darkened parking lots and shadowed coves
express buses never slow
so never does a waiting man dare do anything more
than simply wave and nod
deadly sinners with dead fish handshakes
acknowledging the lustful sloth of sick puppies
Was it four, was it three
does it even still matter?
was it you, was it me?
Was it the fear of flying
the fear of crashing
or the burnt melodies of shook up mixed up worlds
complications
ruminations
long drinks of sweet tease
proffered by waiters who could not wait
the ancient river beds are still there to lie in
or are they simply made of long ago lies
scouring the transcript for smoking guns
for evidence of complicit kin
Waco’s winds buffet complementary musings
Poetry is fucking hard, its noted prosaically
10ccs of a needed drug
the drug of choice for this cold April night
when Indian squatters shiver and wish
they’d never left the warmth of grandmother’s quilt
Heads bob, fingers pop, moves are busted
and melodic BBs hit their mark
the sharper focus begins its fade
the clouded streetlights show themselves once again
the pasttime game, past its prime and past its time
of Leo and Luke and Leopold
ten years between twins is long enough
the sad-eyed mother wails
and the albatross of the once betrothed
sits idle in its glory
hands that should be folded
in resignation
or in prayer
because the ante cannot be met
theory and practice
banging fists on flimsy doors that do not hold
idol threats, litmus tests
Pogo thoughts of both enemies met and history’s
great loves
Johnny and June, John and Yoko,
Sid and Nancy
their cheap sunglasses offer no protection
from the white hot burns of a distant sun
It’s 405 miles into the future world over back roads and potholes
that will never be filled
It’s tenacity
It’s audacity
It’s ten things and great aunts with even greater secrets
It’s yellow and white
It’s hoards of plenty and pastures of dusty collectibles
It’s a man who no longer jokes, he’s fallen out of favor
It’s unknown icons and beautiful wreckage
from which one must crawl away
It’s number four on the charts
It’s red letter days begun to fade
It’s rubes and sweethearts
It’s street views and street legal senors
driving, driving, driving onward
It’s smiley faces, shuddered grins
It’s good fridays turned bad in a fortnight
It’s the latest – and last – temptation

It’s bonne nuit, alors
fais des beaux reves

by David Charles “D.C.” Bloom

D.C. BLOOM IS (NOT) THE RETIRING TYPE by D.C.Bloom

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

It’s true. I’ve retired from show business.

But that begs a boatload of questions, doesn’t it? Why would a 55-year-old Austin-based singer/songwriter that few people beyond his family and a small circle of Facebook friends have ever heard of suddenly disappear at the height of his obscurity? Is this some kind of maniacal publicity stunt designed to increase D.C. Bloom’s name recognition and brand awareness beyond, well, zilch? Can I find this mad genius’ entire catalog on iTunes? How incredibly hip will I appear to be when I turn my friends on to D.C.’s music? What, Anderson Cooper is gay?!

Let’s take those one at a time, shall we?

First off, full disclosure. I’m not really walking away from a robust musical career. That implies there’s something from which to walk away. See, I’m one of the half a million hobbyist musicians in this city. You know the type. We have halfway-decent paying day jobs that enable us to meet the most basic of Maslow’s needs – food, shelter, a pillow under our head and the occasional $10 Happy Hour lap dance. We have halfway decent musical abilities. Our voices have been described as “pleasant” and in even more laudatory terms such as “quite okay.” We write songs we’re overly proud of and have four or five all-time personal favorites in heavy rotation in our open mike repertoire. We’ve actually self-produced and self-released a CD or two, passionately adhering to the Ani DiFranco DIY ethos because, well, no one has yet offered to DI4U (That’s “Do It For Us.” Do try to keep it). We’ve sold said self-released CD to, oh, maybe a hundred or so co-workers, distant relatives, crazy neighbors and Austin tourists who don’t know any better. The other 900 or so are in unopened boxes in our dingy ghetto apartments. We’ve considered starting one of those Kickstarter things to gin up some money for our next ‘project,’ but have so far resisted the temptation because, well, we’re pretty certain we’d fall $2400 short of our goal with only a day to go. And how the hell would that look?

And we’ve probably all – with the exception of those born-and-raised Austin natives we’ve never actually met – been somewhat big fish in other ponds. Here, though, in this big ‘ol pond that is the Live Music Capital of the Milky Way, we’re lucky if we’re even in the chum bucket.

Because those are the kinds of places you’re most likely to find hobbyist musicians like us. Playing for tips in dives not unlike Sheldon Plankton’s little establishment of SpongeBob SquarePants fame while the big fish of Austin gig across the street at cool venues like The Krusty Krab. For all of $50.

So, no, this self-imposed exile from show business is not some publicity stunt to garner your attention and/or sympathy. It’s not a clever ruse to get you talking about D.C. Bloom or to check out dcbloom.com or to download my latest “New Man” from iTunes (But, really, who’s stoppin’ ya?) My retirement is merely an acknowledgement that I’m getting too old for this shit.

But, then again …

I take another look at the printout of the Wiki entry for “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” I alluded to up there. And higher up on Maz’s pyramid – just above $10 Happy Hour lap dances, actually — I see ‘self-esteem,’ ‘respect of others,’ ‘creativity,’ and, the cherry on top of it all, ‘acceptance of facts.’

So here are the facts.

It really is kind of cool to walk away from the cubicle at five o’clock and know that in a few hours I could be on-stage – or for what passes for one — at some nearly empty coffee house in Way, Way South Austin and hear the faint sound of one hand clapping to my biggest hit, “I Can’t Forget the Alamo.” Yes, Ms. Barista, please, do leave a little room for some self-esteem. Thank you. Thank you very much!

And, hey, it sure is nice when one of those bona fide stars of this Austin band camp of ours happens to be in the greasy spoon we’re playing, turns around for a few seconds during our set and then comes up afterwards and says something like, “I really liked that third song you did. Did you write that? Cool. You sounded good.” Ah, the intoxicating respect of others!!

So I’ve accepted these facts. I may not have ever been anywhere near as good as many of my Austin musical brothers and sisters, but, hey, I can get better, can’t I? Even at the ripe age of 55, this old Dog Wagger (the name of my band in Virginia, doncha know? Available on iTunes, natch) can learn a few new tricks. So I’m spending the next nine months of this self-imposed exile in the proverbial woodshed, honing my chops, practicing my scales and even taking a lesson or two from one of those big fish. Then I’ll be jumping right back into this big pond. So, see ya then? Hope so! You’ll be so freakin’ hip, ya know. Just say ‘yes,’ will ya, if you care at all about my self-esteem. Hey, thanks.

And finally, yes, Anderson Cooper is gay. What, ya didn’t see that coming?

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