Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘rock and roll’

To Confront Junk

In alcoholism, journalism, music journalism, news media, punk rock, recovery, Writing on December 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Twenty years on the outside can seem like a lifetime.    I have fled the wreckage of family, hometown, God&Country.  I ‘ve never owned a tv and I’ve never listened to pop music.  I only sank deeper and deeper into a dream. I know what you’re thinking, no problem.  It ain’t lost on me that I’m the envy of every suburban warrior denizen who for whatever reason bought in to this cheap culture of patriarchy and bloodsport.  My aim was to never be like my Father who, for all his admissions to the Man, still found a way to live as far outside the madding crowd as the taxman would allow.  Point is, I’ve done it.  I’m never like him (besides the fact that I am him but, aho).  Mission Accomplished.  And in 11 short years I’ll have rivaled his lifetime, or go down like him, quick and young.  Whatever the fates hold in store, if I’m not like my father then the question becomes what now?
This morning, instead of going to Yoga, I laid in bed drinking coffee and reading Damien Echols.  I’ve been chain smoking Shag all day, never good, and drinking black roast.  I listen to Blind Pilot and Nick Drake on Spotify, which is the worst of all these.  Last night I took a trip down Resentment Lane, you know, just checking in.  Another upset.  Another rupture.  Another splinter of isolation.  I’m running out of people.  I’ve blocked more people than you have on your friends list, and, you know what they say.  If you encounter an asshole, they’re having a bad day.  If everyone you encounter is an asshole, then you’re the one with the problem Brother.  That axiom will do nothing for those of us who know we’re assholes, however.
I’m very aware that there is a fine layer separating me from the world at all times.  Sadly whenever you talk to me, I’m away.  In the past, the exception were those who I deemed true, whom I coveted, held court with, sometimes participating in an unspoken and co-dependent exchange.  Our deal.  They’d tolerate me, tempests of anger and ice-storms of isolation, battles over perceived slights and who knows what-the-fuck else, I wish I did, but drinking was part of the deal-and I’d suffer their flaws.  A vicious cycle.  Say what you will about alcohol but we needed it to scale our walls.  Whatever it took.    Some (most) of the best memories of my life involve alcohol, groundswells of emotion and passion that a Pisces like me thrives on.  But the mornings got darker and darker.  I got sick.  I would say I got further and further from my authentic self but there was no movement.  A whisky drunk can be fun when you’re young.  After 30 it’s just sad.
My quest for Refuge, combined with bitter droughts of alcohol and isolation, has found me right where I left off, my Father’s son and at the bottom of a rock&roll journalist dream.

I was doing it wrong but I’m not letting go of the dream. There’s something calling me back into the fray.  My eyes have been opened.  I have seen and will never unsee.  It’s not lost on me that as I sit here doing this Leonard Cohen bit, smoking by the window and writing lyrics, that just 15 blocks from here some of the wisest and most devoted practitioners of Yoga are gathered under one roof and answering the call to prayer.  I can’t keep turning a blind eye to world affairs, keep hoping you’ll join me in wishing them from existence.  I still believe we can do it but they’re all lazy offal.  Thinking for themselves causes them to panic.  It’s too much trouble but it ain’t no thing to defy the calls for peace and understanding and health care from an old punk rocking pacifist/iconoclast like me.  I need to keep an eye out.  I’m called to journalism.  I’m called to health.

they’re calling out for war here, Rose
and I hope you’re safe in Dublin

I won’t say I’m redoubled.  We’ve heard that before.  I like reborn better, cuz I know now, and I’ll never unknow.  I’m 40 and everything I ever wanted has come to me.  I had a limited scope though, when I first drafted this dream.  It’s up for review.  I know what I want and I’m gonna get it.  I’m reentering the fold.  I can only imagine what I will find there, but hopefully it’s some original thought, some understanding, something to help keep my feet planted on the savage road.  This health.  This dream.  This media and this journalism can be ours, you know.  Despite what they’ve told you your whole life, it’s our world.

May your dreams know the mountain and your troubles hit the dirt.

Sincerly, L.Cohen

Emotional Physics

In alcoholism, anger, Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Being An Artist, blogging, getting sober, going for the throat, Jim Trainer, media, mental health, Poetry, publishing, punk rock, RADIO, recovery, singer-songwriter, sober, sobriety, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 14, 2015 at 12:26 am

I’m about to have a nervous breakdown, and my head really hurts…
-Black Flag
Sooner or later we all hit the wall…
-Nathan Hamilton
How would you like a worms-eye view of your own psychology? The nuts and bolts of the machine, the blood and guts of the monster, your reasons, your dreams, your desires, your doubts and fears? Any of you curious about what really makes you tick should publish your own book of poetry. You’ll be pulled through the eye of the needle and shot from the mouth of the cannon. Hours of synchronous bliss working on a dream coupled with marrow scraping minutes doubting every decision you ever made.  Putting your work out into the world can prompt some gnarly questions. The design of my book saw my coveted verse suddenly swarmed by an army of critical voices. And but Christ the questions.  Keep in mind that you’re the one asking, especially if you’ve been sitting in the same chair in your apartment for 14 hours on your day off. Best believe you’re the only one there. You’re on your own and these questions of worth and purpose will surface, and pass through you like hot shrapnel. In fact it could just be the emotional equivalent of Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Translated, for every wild desire to be manifest there is a nightmare of Karma rearing at the same speed.

One of the biggest inspirations for this blog, its main thrust, is that one day I will finally and fully unreel the inner-diatribe of self sabotage.  I will have fully documented the script that grinds out any high hopes or goodwill about living like a cigarette butt.  And it will be here, online, out in the open for all to see. And we will laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh. We will die laughing. It’s the byline of this blog for a reason. I really feel like I can do it, finally get it all down and slay the dragon, using words as brick and mortar to wall the fucker in. I bring this up because I smell like shit. I’ve been smoking a pack of triple-nickels every day since I first opened InDesign. I don’t answer the phone, don’t go to Yoga. My diet is the simplest form of protein which means bacon and eggs, every day, gross, and caffeine aho I been mainlining the shit. Espresso, iced mocha, bullet coffee (thanks Ceci!) and iced tea. I drink more seltzer than 10 recovering alcoholics and I hate my computer. I’m suffering a certain and specific stabbing pain which can only mean that my hips are cranked beyond any reasonable range of motion and I woke up, this of all mornings, throwing my phone against the wall, for reasons unclear but in doing so jarred something loose and nasty in my shoulder and I can’t wave my right hand without looking like I’m heiling Hitler.
My creative flow was blocked. Which could explain the colorful language of this post.  But at least that shit still works. Like wildflowers sprouting from my skull.  I mention this morning of all mornings because today was the day, or, depending when you read this, yesterday was, but today really is. Final file time motherfucker. Last proof before I get a mockup from Minuteman Press. After mockup and final file and any last edits there is no turning back. I’ll have 100 copies of the book-block of September. I’ll have accomplished a heaping third of actualizing a dream I’ve had since I was 17. But it came with a price.
This wasn’t free. Remember that?
Please live your dreams. It’s the best and worst thing you could ever do to yourself. The most ecstatic torture. While reaching for the stars you’ll feel the cold pull of the earth, and old voices will waft up from the grave, telling you a story of a 17 year old kid sitting on a stoop at his friend’s house in Upper Darby, looking down in awe at Rollins’ One From None.  That’s when the dream gripped me and this whole thing started.  We both know what happened next. The dream laid in my guts for 23 years, while on shift and in the yard, pissing my time away for a dollar, heinous in itself but tragic if my stagnancy came from a deficit of confidence. As it turns out all I had to do was confirm that that way of life was killing me.
When I say Karma I mean history.  The dream won’t be wrenched free easily. Reaching for a dream you’ll be checked at every venture, Brother,and every task and turn from frame to finish, with every edit and redo—you’ll hear a a nagging voice telling you it can’t be done, shouldn’t be done and you’re only your parents failure, you never should’ve left your hometown, should’ve stuck around the campus of community college and bided your time with a new drug addiction until you found your rightful place on Megan’s List.  You’ll feel a fatal gravity of doubt-but none of that matters because if you keep bucking and kicking you will confront yourself. You’ll live through it and have confronted yourself. You’ll come to the new understanding that Karma is behavior. And you’ll know what you always knew.  The writing life is a courageous life.

See A Grown Man Cry

In Being A Poet, Being A Writer, Jim Trainer, poem, Poetry, self-publishing, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on October 8, 2015 at 9:16 pm

“you know you get up there
and tell these stories about how
all these crazy bitches have
done you wrong…”

-Pauper’s Parade

Me and my therapist never talk about women. We always talk about my career. Dr. Jones came recommended from the good folks at SIMS. They said he was confrontational, not the kind to let you get away with anything. Sounded perfect, and 7 months on the good Dr. is asking all the right questions.

Shame I couldn’t keep up with you, good reader. Have you here with me up in the high rooms where it’s killing time. Thanks to Josh Britton, I got 36 poems taped to my kitchen wall. I’ve just stared at them for the last 2 hours and they aren’t ready to tell me what their final order should be. Half are good, solid pieces in a logical order. As mentioned it’s a shame we couldn’t be together, but you can ask Ms.Hawk or any number of good-intentioned people who reached out to me thinking a break might do me good. They were right but I didn’t listen. I just smoked more. Cursed out loud. Blasted the Dropkick Murphy’s and Lords of the Underground. Basically, I behaved like a teenager, in turns proud and utterly destitute about the life I chose over twenty years ago.

Sometimes I draw strange but irrefutable connections in my work. Some days I walk around with the same poem beginning and ending, getting stuck on … in my mind, driving me crazy until I can get in front of the PC and load up InDesign to take a look. The point I keep coming back to in this seemingly pointless post is I wish I could’ve maintained our connection and continued with all other creative endeavor. As it was I had to put off KO, suspend Letter Day until further notice, change my mind about playing at the Brunch show and just show up at the gig and hope it’s entertaining. It’s not lost on me that I enjoy my work. It’s everything I ever wanted. You’re not lost on me either, good reader. I see you in my stats bar and it’s everything. I’d like to think that someday soon I’ll have it all together and I’ll be sending word out while I’m interviewing great writers, writing songs and practicing the harmonica, and all of it hinging on a robust Yoga/meditation practice. At the very least I could’ve bided my time making a business plan for the book, instead of staring at 36 poems and chain smoking on the roof on the verge of tears for the last 14 days.

Your readership is not nothing. In fact it’s everything and so, the de facto business plan for September and Yellow Lark Press is to fly up to Portland in a couple weeks, run off 100 books on a letterpress, offset the cover and do some screen printed broadsides. I know I can sell 100 books. And I know I can because I know you. Preorder your copy of September and you’ll receive one of a hundred machine pressed and perfectly bound copies of my latest work.

The collection is largely about what we already know. Long hours on the sinking throne, writing poetry while staring at grackle and drinking iced coffee until I spot her coming up Judge’s Hill dressed business formal. The thrust of her hips is the prime mover of the universe, her boom swagger swagger boom boom swagger boom boom boom knocking some sense into me, believing in the dream again, setting the veins alight with the gamble of life, ripping the page out, loading the wheel and getting back to work.

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

Who Will Judge the Righteous? PT II-Introducing Guest Blogger Don Bajema

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2013 at 11:23 am

PT II
violence is all around me
still my city sleeps
fallin through the curtains
I see nations crumble for me
Horizon Lion, Bev Haven

Who will judge the righteous?
It ain’t me, Brother.  That would take tenacity and wisdom.  It would take the strength of conviction, knowing what’s right and not giving an inch.  It would take what those young men do out on the field every day of the NFL Season, but coupled with the guidance of a crack playcoach whose cool&disaffected exterior only masks a keen&calculating hunger for victory.

Novelist, screenwriter, actor and spoken-word performer Don Bajema’s been there.  The former world-class athlete not only played for the St. Louis Cardinals, he’s toured Europe as a spoken word poet beside Henry Rollins and Hubert Selby Jr. no less.
There is a beautiful and searing clarity in his work.
Winged Shoes and a Shield, released last fall, offers a view of Sunrise in America that is both sweeping and penetrating.  Panoramic views of seemingly idyllic youth growing up in the 50s and 60s are presented in tandem with the malignant undercurrent of the draft and specter of the Vietnam War.  It’s not lost on Bajema that many of protagonist Eddie Burnett’s peers were using their young&naïve prowess to destroy villages of civilians in jungles far away from the track and field where Eddie excelled or the beaches south of San Diego where he fell in love.  Or worse, like Eddie many were suffering right here at home at the yoke of violent fathers who never really came home from their War years before, if only as shells of men, bitter and beaten.

I like Bajema’s America.  Maybe even better than the real one.  The man certainly offers a more authentic view of the “greatest country in the world” than the one that’s advertised.  Bajema’s America is at once hopefully idealistic and savagely dark.  It’s no accident that I hear rock&roll when I read Don Bajema.  It has as much to do with his paens to rock music’s innocence&potency as the dangerous world his characters live but dare to be in love in.

Aho.  My respect for him goes beyond acknowledging that he was there for that sublime and golden burgeoning of the middleclass and introduction of leisure such as the NFL to the gen pop.   Brother Don has kept his eyes open.  I’ve written it before, the man has remained beautifully awake.  He’s watched the whole thing come tumbling down.
He’s witnessed the murder of a dream and seen the promise of the hippie generation all but rot while a backlash rolled this country back 30 years and stalled our history sometime around 1989 and somewhere between willfully ignorant and grossly apathetic.

But, what do I know?  I’m just an apathetic ex-Pat postpunkrocker who admittedly sometimes just wants to flush it all down and watch it sink utterly into slothful oblivion.  I know, a bit much, eh Brother?  A little dark.  That’s why people like Don Bajema are important.  He’s wont to check me on Facebook sometimes, when I’m on some nihilistic, anti-Christian anti-American jag.  He never tells me I’m wrong but he doesn’t have to.  I can’t help but hear light and love coming from the voice of a man who’s been there, seen it come down, but somehow still believes.  The man is a true patriot and as close to a hero as you can get these days, when leaders and pundits and the big business of news reporting are all so busy telling you who to hate and what to fear.
Brother Don ain’t goin’ in for that bullshit, brother.  He knows that we won’t get fooled again, even if he needs to remind an unemployed and apolitical journalist like me sometimes.

Stay tuned for the first three chapters of Don Bajema’s newest work Too Skinny, Too Small, to be run serially on Going for the Throat over the next couple of weeks.  Order your copy of Winged Shoes and a Shield from City Lights Booksellers.

wingedshoesandashield

Who Will Judge the Righteous?

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm

PT I
F the NFL

Who will judge the righteous?
It’s a fair question.  Am I right, brother?  That is, assuming you’ve measured up.  You pulled yourself up by your bootstraps and you’ve stomped boot to face of any weakerthan on your way up because you’re a winner and you’re not a pussy.  You didn’t piss your pants on the first day of Kindergarten and you drank beer like a Roman around bonfires in High School and you bro-downed at the Frat House while taking advantage of dumb girls in College.  It’s high time you were rewarded for towing the line of American masculinity, so sit back and enjoy the game.
Aho it’s football season.  Now you can really work out, jam those buggers and crush the enemy.  Get lost in bloodlust behind a blue wall of television light, drink and cuss and fight before you head to bed on a Sunday or Monday night, and sleep like a baby throughout autumn in America.  Ah, the game.  With its lines clearly drawn and an identifiable enemy to be conquered and humiliated.  Thinking back over your entire life, there was always the game.  Except for that dark and confusing week in September of 2001 it’s been business as usual, let ‘er rip and shutup honey the game’s on!

I don’t watch football anymore.  The last game of pro ball I watched, or listened to, as it were, was the opening Sunday of the 2011 Season.  It wasn’t the unending misery or sorry excuse for a pathetic career of my hometown Eagles that queered me to the NFL either.  Many of my homeboys have solved that problem by defecting to less dismal and dysfunctional franchises like the NY Giants or the Dallas Cowboys fer fuck’s sake.  Aho

The last time I listened to the game was on the 10th Anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.  Commercial breaks were flooded with ad agency spun sympathy for the victims and first responders of 9/11.  It appeared that the NFL had sold ad time to the pounding of a tired trope-one that subliminally equates any dissent of American Hegemony with the murder of 3,000 innocent people.  You know, that old patriotism-or-treason trip.  I’m used to it.  But when I’m inundated with it, and it’s crammed down my throat on a Sunday afternoon 10 years later, and after all that time thinking I was safe behind a wide wall of apathy and listening strictly to liberal radio, I get upset.

The NFL and its sponsors were wasting my time with maudlin attempts at blind patriotism and otherwise dancing on graves to hawk wares and further the bullshit business-as-usual of consumerism.  Meanwhile my own country was quagmired in three senseless wars that, as the truth slowly started to slither out just 10 days before, were not moral, righteous, nor even humane.

This schadenfreude of manufactured consent was grossly disrespectful to the dead.  I was suffering from my own loss suffered that same rueful Autumn 10 years ago, and I’d be good and goddamned if I’d let a company like Budweiser or the NFL tell me how to feel about it.  It got worse after commercial break.  Even dumber things were happening down on the green and on TV.  There were cops&horses, flags out the yin-yang and the National Anthem sung by Lady Antebellum fer fuck’s sake.  All under the proud banner of a
customized NFL 9/11 ribbon and the official NFL 9/11 logo.

These were mawkish efforts at best, willful ignorance and an “odious exercise in corporate branding” at least.  It made me sick and I haven’t listened to a game since.

And now, as the war drums start to roll and a poisoned toad like John McCain can be heard on liberal radio and John Kerry drones on and on with some of the best paid men&women in the country on the Senate floor, debating the morality of murder, theirs or ours, and by ours I mean you&me Brother-what could this be but Autumn in America?
I thought we put down that pig of a man with stumps for arms last November.  I thought the only thing neocons would be getting out of the American people this term would be book deals and spots on Fox News at best and a dirty, shameful place in the history of the greatest country in the world besides.
As far as the Dems go, John Kerry must be the biggest shill of a man, perhaps better remembered as a dove not so very long ago, on the Campaign Trail and at the onset of all this madness.
I thought the President of the United States stood for something besides getting the Latino vote and an easy ticket out of Chicago.
I thought I could remain grossly apathetic and I thought my old man would still be around and we might watch a few more cursed Birds games together over cheesesteaks&Marlboros.  I thought we’d always have the game.
I was wrong.
This changes everything.
-Tool

Make no mistake, those who are busy deciding how best to blow another trillion dollars in a war far away will not be the ones fighting it.  You really want to see Congress get along with the Forty-Fourth President of the United States?  You really wanna see some action?
F the NFL, let’s go to war.

And 10 years from now, with your middle class and your Fourth Amendment gone, your highways jammed with suicide bombers and the news clogged with religious nutters stroking a hardon for the end days, you can enjoy another henous instant replay of American history brought to you by the NFL.  You deserve it.  You’re a winner.  Why should I care?  I’m a baseball fan.

whowilljudgetherighteousptI

LET’S GO PHILS!

I will switch channels when the NFL glorifies the military and DHS.
I will gently dissuade anyone thinking of joining the military.
I will not listen to prayers for the military.
I will not listen to the military or war being raised up from the pulpit in church.
I will not talk to people who worship the military.
I will not say the Pledge of Allegiance.
I will not salute the flag.
I will not stand for the National Anthem.
I will not vote.
I will not listen to the voice of any President.
–Switchblade commenting on Truthdig.org

Dave Grohl, South By Southwest 2013, Blues&Trouble in Paradise

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

Neurosis-it’s what’s for breakfast. Doesn’t help that the whole town’s on vacation and the whole fucking world is on Austin’s doorstep for the 27th Annual SXSW Music&Media Conference.
The construction crews on Rio Grande haven’t missed a beat. They’ve got some clever machines, including one that sounds like some kind of mechanical pick-axe. It chisels me from dreaming, it chisels me awake. My mornings usually begin with me fantasizing about climbing onto the roof of the mansion with a rifle and taking Mr. beep-beep-beep out, and the rest of his crew too.
I’m stuck on repeat, creatively speaking, and I’m just as neurotic about a poem submitted last Friday night as I was the last time I posted.
Uncle Dave Grohl will be delivering the keynote address for this year’s SXSW, at 12noon CST.  I don’t know how he could possibly hold a candle to last year’s address by the Boss. Bruce Springsteen’s Keynote Address for SXSW 2012 is one of the finest moments in the history of broadcast media. I strongly encourage you to listen to it sometime. The best thing about it? The Boss knows that all we are ever doing is standing on the shoulders of our ancestors. He never comes across as self-important or some hot shit rockstar. He talked about Son House and The Animals for christ. Other than Grohl’s work behind the kit, I’m not really impressed by the man. His work with the Queens and of course Nirvana are fine examples of hard rock drumming at its finest. The Foo Fighters on the other hand, are fratboy fare, nothing we haven’t heard again and again, repeatedly since punkrock’s incorporation. If his recent AMA on Reddit is any indication, this should at least be interesting. Bound to have more resonance&depth than his band-of-Dads’ sappy post-hardcore horseshit.
As far as SX is concerned, before day’s end I’m bound to see Freedy Johnston, The Joy Formidable and end it all with a little nightcap east side.
It’s impossible to get anything done around here with the whole town exploding and shit happening in every abandoned bus and bank lobby in Hippie Town.
And besides all that craziness I can’t get over the fact that I submitted a poem  that I am not proud of to an Anthology . I guess that’s life, right Brother? Some of us shack up in the high rooms with a bottle of champagne and rue our Artists’ plight while the streets are filled with Gilligan’s Island rejects wearing wristbands and drinking from plastic cups and jamming to the Foos.
Meanwhile the rest of the world’s awash about the appointing of another kiddie feeler as the head of an ignorant, hateful and dead religion.  1.2 billion people can’t be wrong, can they?

Between trouble&the blues, how will we ever survive?  See you on the streets motherfucker.  Rock and Roll can never die.

We live in a post–authentic world. And today authenticity is a house of mirrors. It’s all just what you’re bringing when the lights go down. It’s your teachers, your influences, your personal history; and at the end of the day, it’s the power and purpose of your music that still matters.
-Bruce Springsteen from his 2012 SXSW Keynote Address

the pope and michaelangelo

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#9: Already High (to Brother Kit with love)

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Crank the twitching hours
crank the twitching days
let the love we buried
rise up and choke them
in the tower
ring the bells
and call to arms
those who’ve sworn to this
and those who’ve bled with us
Crank the twitching hours
&crank the twitching days
by tooth and nail we give over
our time for our lives
and find
that survival is no longer prize
but winning is
living to fight
another day.

Music Journalism

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

John+Lee+Hooker+john_lee_hooker2How can a 64-year-old John Lee Hooker song lure me into one of the douchiest bars on W.6th?
Rock and Roll that’s how.
Maybe I can hear the black voodoo in a sharecroppers heart, up from the delta and his first time in a big city anywhere, pluggin’ in and talkin’ bout the Henry Swing Club, probably terrified but certain he would take over Detroit and the World with rock&roll motherfucker.  yeah
b/c I was born in a small town just outside the City and the blues always sounded alright wit me and felt even better.
I truly believe that Johnny Lee was the first punkrocker O.G.  Maybe him&Wolf, certainly Son but perhaps not Muddy.  I shudder anytime anyone mentions the Stones, their eyes glazed over in dumb reverence to industry dogma.  I shudder when these folks are my people, in my country b/c
don’t you know those half-a-fags were listening to American folk music?  Slave hollers and r&b, barn burners and jukejoint stompers that had been blasting in shotgun shacks of the developing rural ghettos of America for decades?
We gave the world rock&roll.  Well, the blackman did.  And all he was listening to was the whiteman’s blues-music from other disenfranchised agrarians, downsized by the Industrial Revolution, singin’ they sad cowboy songs by campfires in the new wastelands of America.
America gave the world rock&roll and took everything else.  We did.  We gave it to the World.  And Europe.  So lower middle class snots can support heroin addictions and cruise liners to the Spanish country side with their super model girlfriends.  So their vapid phony rock&roll can pervade mass consciousness until its way past obsolete and meaning anything (if it ever did), but by then they’ll have books to write that’ll be bestsellers that are really nothing but more stroking off in our faces.  Fucking cunts.

The blues is why I don’t like:
Jack White, The Black Keys, Any Blues Revisionist Band, Eric Clapton, Bono/U2, The Rolling Stones and etc. etc. etc.  The classic rock catalog should be retired.  Anything contemporary that offers nothing but whiffs of classic rock that amount to nothing but farts should remain in the pop end of the spectrum, run their course and be flushed&forgotten.  And don’t worry about them, America.  They’ll catch a bump in about 20-30 years w/ generational biopics and books about nothing while we boogie wit Iggy&Zevon&Randy Newman&Hot Snakes&Cory Branan&Lovey Dovies&Thee Nosebleeds.  Don’t worry about them, punkrocker.  They will get fooled again.

Hey hey, my my,
rock and roll can never die.
-Neil Young

 

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#7: Brother Kit

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm


The Ruined Rooms of the High Life
Fox Den
Hippie Town, USA

Kermit Hell Lyman III
The Last Frontier
West Philadelphia, PA 
 
Aho but you were right Brother Kit.  It is lonely at the top.  Nice we have our women and the spoils of this wreckless celebration we call life.  What else?
Rock&Roll, that’s what else Brother.  It saved us even when we didn’t want saving.  It’s the last grace of these United States.  We could fold it up, croak&crank it to the next and be thankful.  Our work has saved us.  And it has destroyed them.  Aho.  Ain’t nothing wrong with my crown and yours, Brother?  That’s what I thought.  We are Champions.
It all began with the decision to lose first and talk later.  Hostile City embraced our defeatism, if only b/c in her bitch-heart she knew it would be easier to take us this way.  Turns out that defeat wasn’t the worse thing that ever happened to us.  Its made us strong&wise enough to suffer through any series of mindfucks and Schadenfreude.  We know b/c we have lived the Warrior’s life and now the only lasting and final danger is this contentment.
It’s all gravy up on this vista.  T
rouble’s harder to find these days and it makes me miss the devil a little.  But not much.
May You Continue To Be Luckier Than the Lightning.
 
yrs,
Brother JT