Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘TX’

Laid Up Blues, Trainer Blows Out Back As The World Burns

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

What a drag it is getting old, eh Brother? I blew out my back getting the old man out of bed on Sunday and these days I spend most of my time flat, laid up, immobilized and otherwise worried to death. I ask myself, will I be able to play my monthly gig at House Wine on Thursday? Will I make it to the Cabaret on Friday? What about Letter Day and the Headlines? Who will judge the righteous? And what about the blog?!
Aho and even darker fears grip me as I lay on my Yoga mat. What if I don’t make it? What if I can’t make this dream real? What if I never live my dreams?

Questions of a different magnitude were asked in D.C. last week, and the answers, if they came at all, were grim&strange&sad.
And in Nairobi and Peshawar and any number of places unlucky enough to land on the other side of the great Wall of American Hegemony.
Aho. I’ll make it through. And with a little help from my friends I’ll be up&swinging again, punching down the savage road, talking shit and stalking this dream. If there’s anything shining in the mire of all this misery it’s that we’ve pulled ourselves back from the brink of war. Common sense would’ve made it a foregone conclusion that we can’t, as a country, continue to bomb dictators from out of their bunkers in small countries in the middle east anymore, without our New World Order coming home to roost. There’s people getting angry in these darkest hours, we’re no longer safe in our own country and we’ve been disabused of even the illusion of safety.
What could this be but the age of Nutter’s Rule? 12 dead at the hands of a mentally unstable Navy Reservist and at least 85 dead in the other hemisphere has become “the new normal”. Hunter Thompson was right.

It’s Sunday-we are not bombing Syria today! No children beneath our rubble-no grandmothers aflame-no death in our message-no shot across the bow. Let’s think how we each will contribute through our active love of those close-through our ease and acceptance of strangers to us as we are to them. Let’s contribute through our work-and our art. Let’s not take this moment-this new week for granted.

-Don Bajema, makin’ ’em know on Facebook last week
Aho. There he is. I dropped the ball last week and failed to bring you Chapter 2 of Too Skinny, Too Small. But as I mentioned, I blew out my back and this much madness was too much sorrow. I’ve been corresponding with Brother Don however, and I’m sitting on 2 Chapters of his latest lament on the bloodsport of American masculinity. Not only that, starting next week Bajema will be providing readers with a new chapter of Too Skinny, Too Small every Sunday until the Super Bowl. Aho. Some fresh wisdom and something other than
these angry alcoholic rants chronicling heartbreak in America and lamenting the death of rock&roll.

I watched 5 guys probably in their 50’s hand most current bands their ass last night and then still Keep going. Energetic, Tight and powerful.
-Jarrett Pritchard on seeing the mighty FLAG in Baltimore on Tuesday
Ah, but not so fast. Those guys are pushing 50 and they’re still raging against the machine. In life, there are those that do and those that criticize. In some strange&incredible twist of fate, it has become my job to criticize. As such, Greg Ginn may try to shut this rig down but rock and roll can never die. That’s from Brother Neil Young, a finer patriot than many Americans born here. But shit, considering the war on the poor in this country, maybe Canada ain’t so bad after all.

we love you so much / our country is fucked.
-GY!BE’s statement regarding their recently awarded Polaris Prize

Aho. I’ve still got 4 letters to send out to folks who responded to my Letter Day post on the GFtT Faccebook page last Friday. The headlines made it out on Monday and we’re booking December in Philly, people. Brother Don Bajema will be F-ing the NFL straight through February and Friday I’ll be revisiting One From The Heart, my music-critic series, and presenting you with a very special album to me.
The 24hour news cycle can be relentless but, ultimately, my petty complaints pale in comparison to the horror folks are subjected to elsewhere in the world and on the daily. As I down another Ibuprofen 800 and stare at the ceiling, I grapple with my own mortality-aho, and even consider the futility of my own existence. But then I punch down another 800 words and send this post off to you, good reader. Transmission, it’s keeping me alive. Your readership is my everything.

And once there was a time to join the army

And once there was a time to hear the news
And once there was a time for easy silence
But now the jury waits for you
Witness Blues, A.A. Bondy

backbrace

#fuuuuuuuu

End of Thee Hated Roadtrip, Lost&Found in America

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

The road was not fun. The mountains were not fun. But we made it out and down.  When we pulled off the road on Wednesday, that placard of the state of Texas up on the highway, just this side of the Texarkana line, was like a vision. The wastelands of Arkansas gave way to rolling plains with cows sleeping under trees. Those crazy, lazy browns and the heat&the drawl of Texas was welcoming me with open arms.  A somnabulant southwestern “breeze” was blowing.  It pasted my balls to my leg and opened my eyes dry&wide.  It was good to be home.

The trip sucked, for all the usual reasons, but that wasn’t the worst of it. I was plunged into a bad dark up on the mountain, which could only be the grim&undeniable reacquainting of the self with the self.  My time up in the mountains was like the part of a Stephen King novel when his protagonist has really gone off the rails. I could see no end to the drunk rain and when the sun finally showed itself in Hewitt, the boss told us to load it up and head for the border, only to get popped for weed on the Canadian side at dusk.

Sunday I was stuck at the BP in Five Points, Nashville, waiting for a cab and Facebook messaging a girl back home. She’d been reading the blog. She’d been feeling my pain. That somehow someone out there was reading-registering my blues and following these mad chronicles of heartbreak in America, well, shit-it’s really touching, to tell you the truth. And it’s Art.  Aho and good goddamn.
I’ve been feeling like it’s time to retire this blog and I was especially feeling that way out on the road.  I would read over what I’d posted and hate life even more. Aho even the work wasn’t enough to carry me through and, greasy and despondent in some hotel room in Malvern, Kentucky, I would curse myself for not being able to write through the misery; opting instead to watch the most horrible television, jerkoff and go to bed. But this story ain’t over; rather, you’re still reading it. And, just as I was deriding myself for not having the discipline of Papa or because I never put in the hours that great writers like Jason Woolery do, the blog’s views spike up to the second biggest day in Going for the Throat’s history.

My point is that she was feeling me. And you kept reading. The blog’s got up and started walking; your steady trickling of views is what pleases me, no matter the road or consequence. You’re reading and my pain has been received and transmuted, framed and stuck on the wall for us to marvel or laugh at on better days. Better days are coming, brother.  You can count on that. Even as that deathead crowns the horizon and the Man takes a pound of flesh for a pound of gold, we’ve got each other, and isn’t that nice?

The high wind up north is really something. Up Vancouver or Niagara way, the north wind bids you to keep travelling on, keep going. I remember walking the streets of Vancouver in the fall of 2008. I had just bought the woman I was living with back home a black dragon Kimono robe, in Seattle the night before. The thing made me hard just looking at it, picturing her in it. When I called to tell her I had bought her something special, she told me that all my “shit” was packed up on the lawn. It would be there and ready for me to move out when I got back to Philly, she said.
(That never came to pass. She had moved all my shit back inside by the time I got off tour and was back in Hostile City. There it sat in the living room, still packed but no longer outdoors.  I loaded it up and headed down to Texas.)
Besides that rueful telephone call, what I remember best about that incredible fall day in Vancouver was this feeling that I could keep on walking forever, leave the guys in the RV behind me, keep going North and never come back.
I was feeling that way again a couple weeks ago up by the Canadian border. The north wind in Niagara was blowing through and I felt like it could carry me on and blow me away. We had just got pinched at the border for the old man’s weed. It was a disaster on top of the nightmare that the trip already was. I was thinking felony and no more trips to Tulum or anywhere outside the U.S. I was thinking a lot of things but mostly I was thinking what I would tell the Canadian border guards should they sequester me in a small room for questioning. I would absolve myself completely. I would tell the truth. They’d cut me loose on the streets of upstate NY and I would ramble. Leave the job, taking only what I could carry. Goodbye President XII. Goodbye workingman blues. How could it be any worse?

One learns survival by surviving.
-Charles Bukowski

Jimbo’s back.  I have lots to tell you and share.  Friday is letter day at the Office and I want to hear from you. Send me your address and I’ll send you the things I write when I can’t write-letters. When inspiration is lacking and the body is wrecked, I look to you and am renewed. I wrap up a day’s work with a walk through the garden, past the rainbow Kale and Neapolitans, through the pride of Barbados and to the tall blue mailbox on Rio Grande, and I send out my love to you.

Please keep reading.  You’re keeping me alive.
w/ Gratitude,
JMT

Memphis BP

Your Writer at the BP in Five Points, Nashville TN

Hangdown Town

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm

there’s no safe way to open the door to a house of cards
it’s but bringing the house down, the inside out, so that the heart is out
in the wide open

joker laughing and splitting down the deck, wiping a colorful hand down a syrupy smile
Queen of Cups stanchioned still, on the precipice of the eroding shore, her love ain’t changed a bit
and it won’t take a key, won’t take a sword

out on the streets it’s quet now, what’s done is done and it’s happened now
a “Christian jihad” with unmarked black towncars
sitting in the hot sun
waiting to put the cuffs on
to your
no refusal weekend

my heroes are probably laughing
up in heaven now
flanked by pride
and sitting
on the fat purse of history
time will always be the enemy
for those of us down here on Earth
in Hell
in Egypt
and in the States.
their truth is flung like arrows now
and we’re punctured before
we can reach the scoreboard

heavy night’ll come
it always does
the way a snake moves it’s body but
molts the
earth
below

I hereby stand
leaning into
my old friend Trouble
remembering her proud armies
as they marched down and I
sat drinking in the dark
at the Chili Parlor Bar
drinking Mad Dog margaritas and not caring where you are…
glad to be disabused of safety
open always and all night
to chaos
murder
&apathy like
a blue bucket of shit poured
down on me from the window
where I
type this and wipe
a colorful hand down
a syrupy smile
she won’t smile
but sits

it won’t take a key
won’t take a sword
I’m at her feet again
gently annihilated
by mercy
as the black tides
roll out
marooned&weightless
in Hangdown Town.

Hangdown Town

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2013 at 11:27 am

The ruse is up. Satya motherfucker. It’s high time to disabuse myself of my own delusions. Might as well do it here and in writing, which is how I come to understand anything anyway. We’ve been down this dirty road before. Today we’ll be dismantling my belief in change.
I been blowin it out with big boys of Lonestar and Sapporo. Same old story. Same old song. My blowouts now are pretty harmless, relatively speaking. In my late 20s and early 30s a blowout was a catastrophic event. I was bored with life and I had an anger problem. The light of day was painful then and my furniture was never the same. I was a madman, the madman of 10th Street and any friends I still have from the Never Ending Summer of Evil Kanevil are true blue. Their love has been tested brother, believe me.
There is no limit to the amount of havoc&destruction you can cause with the single-pointed focus of dying before the age of 30. After 30 I had no excuse but by then Hostile City was closing in on me. Whether or not I escaped certain death by leaving Philly it is certain that I was born again by the time I stepped boot to Texas soil. There is my life before Austin and my life after. I probably drank around 9 beers last night, starting with lunch and ending with a nightcap after dinner. I was safe asleep, in bed before midnight and other than feeling a little crispy this morning, I’m fine. This wouldn’t even be the beginning of a blowout back then. Also, bourbon. And coke. And xanax. It’s comical what constitutes a blowout now but I ain’t laughing.

I’ve hired a life coach. Our overarching goal is to help me make the leap to becoming a full-time artist. We’ve broken it down into simple, everyday steps. First up are my beliefs and habits about productivity. I should mention that my life coach is more on the spiritual side then the business side. We don’t discuss personality types or business models; we don’t tangle with newage (pronounced sewage) or any douchey-corporate terms and strategies. For example, one of her suggestions to increase my productivity is to sit and do nothing for 5 minutes every day. It’s a very Zen approach-to do more, do less. What Taoists call “effortless action” and what I call taking the longview.
Taking the longview is accepting that the rest of my life will be devoted to creating art. It’s a forgiving view and useful, too. Instead of trying to be a journalist, poet and songwriter today, I instead schedule a little time to write this morning, with a break in-between, then attempt some research and promotion this afternoon, blow it out on the Epiphone and finally end the day with some poetry tonight.
Aho. The longview. It’s what was so roundly missed for all those years on the dayshift as a raging alcoholic when I felt like I had to get it all done and now. Plus, it’s hard to plan on days you don’t know you’ll live to see (or that you so dread living to see you get fucked up anyway). Of course there are many reasons to carry on the way I did for all those years but that’s another story for another time.
All I know is that a piece like this falls so short of my journalistic aspirations it may as well be a long, more thought out&better written Facebook post. Christ, the entirety of this blog could be viewed as such and maybe the bastard Doctor is right anyway, blogs are passé.
Whether or not blogs are useful tools of the new journalism or merely bloviating scrapbooks, there is no question-I’m ready to take the leap. But until I can push through these issues I’ll be delegated to the roof with Dylan’s first album blasting down Judge’s Hill and flanked on either side by a cup of Megadolo black and a pack of Nat Sherman MCDs. Baking sessions on the roof with the keys burning the skin off my fingers.
I’m not saying this blog is on hiatus. Just that I need to figure some things out. Like a way to get off the roof in 110 degree weather, for example. I’ve reached my goal with this blog anyway. I have systematically dismantled writer’s block and put that bad bitch to bed. I know that on any given day I can sit down and screw it on, smoke and cough and scream and squirm until I have 800 words, neat&fine.
I have contemplated the mountain. I’ve kicked, scraped and fucked my way to the top. Now it’s time to take the longview. Look around, up&down the chain. Sadly, my daily sessions smoking&coming up with a missive for you have come to a close. I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore. It’s no failure of myself as an Artist. I’m no less of a writer. I’m just making a different decision-one that has terrifies me when I think about giving up my 20-year-old crutch but exciting when I think of the Artist that I can be.
Here’s to hoping some new way will emerge and I’ll be able to devote more of my time and more of my life to the fucking beast of writing, without being delegated to the roof and smoking like an AA member.
Besides, I’m as bored as you are with these blogs about change and self-help. At the very least we’ll do away with the by now, oft-penned and most hated apology blog. Hell, maybe even write about stuff that interests us. Over 4,000 people marched on the Capitol on Monday and it makes me proud to live in a town where folks are exercising true democracy. Not only that, but I just got back from the hometown with enough love to shut down any idea of opposition and shred anything in the way of living the life I choose.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a kinghell fun. I’ve had a blast catching up with 20 years worth of neglect of the craft of writing. These long hours on the sinking throne are never boring. But as the temperature climbs into the triple-digits, the rooftop ain’t gonna cut it anymore, Brother.
Stay cool pretty babies. It’s time to go back inside.

We don’t need no water let the motherfucker burn
burn motherfucker burn!

roofisonfire

Goodbye bravery.

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm
I time every journey 
To bump into you 
Accidentally I
Charm you and tell you
Of the boys I hate
All the girls I hate
All the words I hate
All the clothes I hate
How I'll never be anything I hate
You smile, mention something that you like
How you'd have a happy life
If you did the things you like 
-Franz Ferdinand, The Dark of the Matinee

I come up from the boiler room. She’s turned off all the lights. There are candles burning in every window. The windows are open but the furnace has stopped blasting the room with hot air. She’s left no note. In the kitchen a sole lamplight is glowing above the type and made brighter reflecting off the blank white sheet in the reel.
I sit down. I crank the silver arm of the President XII, advance and return the reel. My hands are black with furnace grease. My breath is musty, wet&cold.  I’m still exhaling cellar air. I start typing. I begin…
…South Philly…by the sign of the cross on a Monday morning. I am overcome with complete and utter sexual exhaustion. I can feel her in the ease of my joints and in the cracked fascia of my arms and legs. I can taste her and the salt of our sweat. Catholic School kids make their way down the cold pavement in twos and threes. Church bells crack the autumn air.  I walk down the steps to the orange line and sink into another dream…
…A dark rainy morning at the shop.  Auggie and his weed.   Spicer cracking wise.  Led Zeppelin and Bush and Live.  Lightning out through the double doors and then thunder booming down the suburban sky.  The nervous feeling in the bowels of a 19-year-old kid, standing there, waiting for the storm to come.  He’s trying not to hope for the day off.  He doesn’t want to jinx it.  But he is hoping for the day off  just the same…
…Up on a high hill above Wheeling.  It’s just him&her and this connection of feeling between them.  She’d never be so old again.  He’d never be less bitter.  He had the rest of his life to wonder about the wound and the opening.  He was 23, wearing wingtips and innocent to his own game.  They pile into the van and bomb their way through Appalachia.  They’re coming home…
Then this, the blurry amalgamation of my youth in three memories.  I keep typing…
…the yard is filling with water.  It’s up to at least 4″ by now and me&my sisters can’t get inside.  The doors are locked and we don’t have our key.  Mom’s Nova’s in the driveway but Dad’s pickup isn’t.  We run around to the backyard and find the rabbit,  floating by the porch drain, dead.  His solid black eyes seeing nothing.  His paws stretched out, waterlogged and useless.
and then…
…He comes in, hulking and quiet.  The silence of the house is weighted.  It hurts.  There is a shame coming from an anger unexpressed.  I look into his room from the hall  and see him sitting with his freckled back to me on the bed.  He is sinking and silent.  Then I see her face,  giant, pursed, as she shuts the door.
this is much later and I’m 14 now…
…we’re at Dunkin Donuts smoking and drinking coffee before school.  We’re late for homeroom  but we’d make first period and slide right in.  At 8:20am we get up, slap 1$ bills and quarters down and make our way out into the working class morning.  We walk down the length of the counter.  I’m ready to explain to anyone in my way that what I’m doing is my own goddamn business and if they don’t like it then they’ll have a big fucking problem on their hands and a fight they will not win…
It’s the bravest I ever remember being, then this…
…the last day of 9th grade at Upper Darby High.  Someone’s playing I’ll Stop The World in the parking lot.  She’s coming out from the stands toward me.  The sunlight catches her hair, her legs, her eyes.
She’s incredible, gorgeous as always but not so much the cheerleader anymore.  There’s something softer in her eyes and sad.  Her movements have an openess to them now and she’s moving toward me with the unmistakable language of her budding sexuality.  I want to tell her I want her, that I’d stop the world and walk away with her, across the parking lot and across the street from school, through the cemetery and into summer forever.  See you next year, I say instead, and walk away.    I don’t find out til the beginning of sophomore year.  Her father died that day, in the parking lot, when I walked away with more conformity than the lot of them rallying  in the stands behind me and yelling into the hot open air.  Goodbye bravery.  

I rip the sheet from the reel and sit there in front of the President XII.  Goodbye bravery, hello Blues.

This Perfect Machine

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?

# # #