Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘music’

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 ūüôā ¬†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.
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

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


In Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 at 3:38 pm

UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US is a 93 minute documentary on Norwegian Black Metal, a once underground sub-genre of Heavy Metal music with a nefarious past.¬† The film features interviews with the key players and progenitors of this scene and covers the events of murder and church burnings that are linked to Black Metal‚Äôs rise in popularity and notoriety.¬† Stark and barren-cold footage of Norway and a dark ambient soundtrack familiarize the viewer with contemporary Black Metal‚Äôs birthplace.¬† Footage of normal everyday sunny life in Norway, along with hallmark demos and recordings of the first Black Metal albums, contrast what these musicians may have been rebelling against with what their rebellion sounded like.¬† The film volleys between extensive interviews with Varg Virkenes and Fenriz of Burzum and Darkthrone, respectively.¬† In prison for the murder of √ėystein Aarseth and the arson of several churches in Norway in the early 90‚Äôs, the interviews with Virkenes move the storyline along, culminating in the film‚Äôs depiction of these events.¬† Premiering in the U.S. on December 4, 2009, the film was screened here in Austin spookily days before the Halloween holiday.¬† UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US, distributed by Variance Films is also out now on DVD.¬†

The film hovers on the sensational just long enough to engage those unfamiliar with Black Metal and not dissuade those already in the know.  It may pique the curiosity of the uninitiated but for those in the scene it may only be of interest to the Black Metal completists among them.  I would recommend the DVD over going to the theater to see this documentary.  The extras with the DVD include a disc of outtakes which include any relevant confessions Virkenes will make of his role in the church burnings as well as an informative and humorous history of Black Metal provided by Fenriz.    Its extensive and accurate coverage and commentary from Black Metal’s prominent practitioners make the film an accurate depiction.  The film only scratches the surface, but this aids in its avoidance of any pandering to the sensational.  An excellent primer to the serious and grim realm of Black Metal.  Directed and produced by Aaron Aites & Audrey Ewell, screening in select cities throughout the U.S. and out now on DVD.

*Please check out the interview I did with 1349 here.*

The Great Debate

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 1:07 am


I came across this “story” on the Yahoo News Page.¬† Seems that there is some controversy¬†concerning the originality of Lady Antebellum’s hit single “Need You Now”.¬† Fans of the Alan Parsons Project are up in arms at the similarity between its chorus and the chorus of APP’s hit “Eye in the Sky”.¬† If you think this controversy, this “story” and this blog are ridiculous, you’re absolutely right.¬† This is absurdist theatre at its finest.¬†

It seems like only the most trite, tired and least viable acts complain about getting ripped off.¬† One needs only a freshman year of college Psych101¬†and a¬†brief listen to the band’s who’re crying thief¬†to understand what is really going on here.¬† It’s called projection.¬† The Tom Petty/Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Last DJ”/”Danny California” controversy¬†comes to mind and for the same ridiculous and absurd reasons.¬† Some of you may not remember that Tom Petty himself was accused of ripping off the same song he accused the RHCP of stealing from him.¬†

If you’re with me so far, you may be asking yourself:¬† “So what?”¬†

So what indeed. 

Monolithic acts like Tom Petty and the Alan Parsons Project have built ENTIRE careers out of derivative, cultural mish-mash bromide.¬† I hate to talk shit on any musician or artist out there trying to make it, they are human beings after all, like you and me.¬† But the way our Rock and Roll music has been co-opted is not funny and these “people” are not people at all.¬† They are a braintrust¬†of tried and true popisms.¬† You like it because you heard it before and you heard it before because you like it.¬† Or so record companies would like you to believe.

There is original music out there that really means something.  Or, at least there was until some rockstar found a trendy wave of nuance to ride on.  Considering that Tom Petty or the Alan Parsons Project got ripped off by the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Lady Antebellum for fuck sake is giving way too much consideration to ANY of these acts.

Do you hear any bluesmen crying about how their whole catalog, their entire image or how the blueprint they drafted for¬†the entire rock and roll phenomena¬†was stolen from them?¬† No, you don’t.¬† You know why?¬† BECAUSE THEY DON’T CARE.¬† They’re too busy living the life they’re singing about.¬† And do you ever hear the fans of these greats crying thief¬†and demanding accountability from these bloated corporate acts who get a front page on Yahoo News?¬† No, you don’t.¬† And you know why?¬† Because RHCP and Lady Antebellum aren’t ripping ANYthing off of ANYbody.¬† If they were their music might actually be good.¬† It might actually inspire change in the world like all the great heroes of music lore have done.

Please.¬† Don’t give them that much credit.¬† Let ’em rip each other off until Iran destroys the world.¬† Let’em jerk each other off until the Chinese own everything.¬† The competition for the right to be the one who gave us the latest serving of pop drivel first isn‚Äôt worth your time or mine.

It’s never too late to stop trying, as my friend, the Reverend Kevin P.O’Brien, used to say.¬† Put your ear to the ground.¬† There’s something rumbling down there.¬† Support local original acts.¬† Lady Antebellum are as much a legitimate country band¬†as Tom Petty has a real Mojo hand(fuck outta here).¬† The Red Hot Chili Peppers aren‚Äôt punk rock and your parents lied to you.¬†

Hail hail rock and roll.


In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 2:35 am

…lame duck Congressional decision whether to extend Unemployment Benefits…Yoga, smoking, why after more than two weeks of dragging it around I wake up today firing on all four cylinders…

On September 1st of this year I was laid off from my bartending job at the Whip In.  I was awarded Unemployment Compensation, just enough to pay my bills and nothing else.  I immediately got to work. 

I started building the promotions machinery for my music:  twitter, Facebook.  I set up a recording session with my friend Slim Bawb out at the Swamp, his studio in Cedar Creek.  I started attending shows and talking with other musicians.  I found out where they were playing and attended their shows with fliers in hand for mine.  I talked with venue owners, club owners.  I started looking into booking out-of-town gigs.

I got to work on the writing too.  I submitted my poetry for publication.  I contacted old zines who I used to write for, I contacted new ones to see if I could write for them.  I wrote a short story late one night, beer drunk.  I started about three other short stories that may never see the light of day.  I contacted friends of mine who were writers and poets. 

I looked into getting my website up to speed.  I want it to encompass all my endeavors from journalism, poetry, fiction and writing to my music, shows, tracks and appearances.  I talked with photographers about doing some photo shoots for the site.

Slowly but surely I am piecing enough work together to sustain me.¬† Congress has until November 30th to extend unemployment benefits.¬† I am hoping to have enough work together that ideally I won’t have to sign on to a job permanently or permanently full-time.¬†

I feel like a goddamn fool.¬† And it’s scary as hell out here.¬† I have a new friend and her name is Havilah.¬† She too is¬†a singer/songwriter and has been practicing Yoga for many years.¬† She took me to my first class in over a decade.¬† She’s helping me realize that you’ve got to turn your mind off.¬† And don’t I know it.¬† Action is beyond thought.¬† Action is its own means and its own ends.¬† I need to get on a regimen with this.¬† Get back in touch with my body while I still have a chance to get healthy.

The old me likes to smoke many many cigarettes and get pensive about things.¬† Some underachiever/overachiever part of me thinks that in order for something to happen it must be at the forefront of all thought, all action, in order for it to be achieved.¬† This is a fallacy.¬† You just need to determine what it is, meditate on that and…ta-da! Let it Go.¬† For real.¬† Clutching onto something so tightly will not bring your dreams any closer.¬† In fact the opposite is true.¬†

So…Yoga.¬† Thinking about cutting down on smoking.¬† Meditation.¬† Action.¬† And enough freelance work to make it through the month.¬† External stability may not be achieved.¬† Inner stability is paramount.¬† I’ll keep you posted.