Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloweenhead (Explicit Lyrics)

I don't care about Halloween outside of the cultural history of the event and how it fits into our modern commercial economic system. It was never that fun for me, just an opportunity to get a crap load of candy.  I never felt a sense of wonder or thrill cause I dressed up on my own time as the heroes I wanted to be, played different roles in my own head. I'm knocking anyone who is into Halloween now, or indoctrinating kids into the practice of it, I just don't care.  I got over it by force of circumstance and predisposition a couple of decades ago, and most other Holidays too.  All that militant black revolutionary rhetoric struck a chord with me.

It doesn't hurt that everyday I put on a certain costume.  I have variations of it, but yeah, I dress up like a GI Joe in a round about way.  In the winter I'm some version of Arctic Ranger Stalker (stocking cap, Down Jacket, Cargo Pants and boots), In the transitional seasons I'm going for General Hawk circa 1986 (Bomber Jacket, Cargo Pants, and boots), and in the summer I'm dressed like Outback (the original version in the White t-shirt, Cargo pants, & boots). I borrow my color schemes from my favorite album covers mainly. Jeff Buckley's Grace inspired my fascination with Bronze and Copper tones in leathers, and deep blues in pants and denims, with a white under layer (Usually Just A T-Shirt).  When I wear black, I will always think of Snake Eyes, Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi and Jin Kazama (given the right design accents).  It's silly, and also pretty insignificant because I'm not dressing up as those characters so much as taking style cues from how they were designed.  You could just as easily credit my sense of style to nearly every East Coast Rap Video that featured dudes in baggy pants, Black Down jackets, stocking caps, and boots.  That would be fair, cause it was a big influence on me as well.  That's my costume by and large.  Everyday is Halloween to me, nothing to celebrate beyond the treat of being alive, the trick of being employed.

In summary: Halloween = Meh.  Halloweenhead = <3

Now, a little bit about David Ryan Adams, who has lucked up and been the source of inspiration for a couple of recent posts, if memory serves me correctly.  Simply put, he is a high volume songwriter.  Though he may have slowed his output in recent years, during his hot streak the guy was amazingly prolific, and generally genre blind.  Regardless, his talent allowed him to pull off most anything he wanted to do with at least a display of competence at his craft, regardless of the depth or sincerity of his inspiration to flex his artistic muscles.  Me, I love his rock songs, like straight up, rollicking, moody, driving around with a sense of purpose, or need to "act out" road rock songs.  This is one of them, and it happened to be on an album that was a bit of a potpourri of output in the singer songwriter style of folk rock.  I dig a lot of that, and love the moody side of that stuff too, or the serenely blissed out permutations of it, but when you find out someone can write "your kind of rock song" pretty much flawlessly, like no one else, you want them to do it with some frequency.  Ryan Adams can do that as far as I'm concerned.  It doesn't hurt that he has so much material, I could dedicate every blog title to one of his songs and still manage to capture the tone of what I want to write about with each blog

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Drugs Not Working

I chose to forgo pain meds for the ache in my jaws and teeth due to the drilling for my filling being close to the soft tissues in my tooth and the nerve.  I've endured.  Little did I know that my brain seems to only be able to process one pain at a time, so when I woke up with a throbbing pain in what I can only assume was my Brain Stem, suddenly my Molar Nerves were the least of my concerns.  I got up, recognized I was feeling feverish, dreading that my nerve got infected, and this was my bodies effort to cope with it.  Luckily, or unluckily, my stomach started turning, and i realize that sinus drainage was the source of that woe, and congestion the prior.

A few obligations of the professional sort later, I was able to get some pills, a 12 hour decongestant and expectorant, and Ibuprofen.  Well, my 4 to 6 hours is coming up on the Ibuprofen and my head is starting to hurt just a little, I'm in a bit of haze.  My ginger ale therapy is keeping the nausea in check, along with the Old Tyme pretzels, but I'm starting to feel a little iffy, and this song just crept into my head.  Doesn't hurt that it's Red Ribbon week in my school, which is a week  where we celebrate being drug free.  Outside of the occasion alcoholic beverage and medication when necessary, I have been drug free my entire life.  Growing up with an alcoholic in my extended family who was around all the time, and dope fiends when I was a kid and teen was enough to sour any appeal drugs may have had. Plus it probably saved me a ton of money over the years.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Speak of the Devil... Is this the second time I used this one?

Leave it to the Russian Spambots to push my page to 666 views...

The Devil has been on my mind though, cause:

If the Devil is a Lie* (as the saying goes with my folks)

Does that mean the Devil is literally a lie?

As in:  The Devil is a fabrication, a falsehood, doesn't actually exist.

Or: The Devil is the embodiment of falsehood.

If the prior is true, is the embodiment of Evil the act or perpetuation of the belief in that particular lie by validating it with inexplicably vile actions?

If the latter is true, is a Liar manifesting the Devil?  My folks would say "You (is) a Lie*!"  So are you then the Devil?

*Lie is usually taken to mean Liar. "a lie" is "a liar" as I always understood it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Varnaline: A Series of Songs instead of just one

You can thank Columbia House Music Club's Editorial staff for getting me into the music of Varnaline, and ultimately Anders Parker, it's singer, guitarist, and songwriter.  They were the band that opened the doors of perception that allowed me to get into other "Alt-Country" labeled bands and artists.  It wasn't my particular cup of tea in the 90s, with me having only liked a song here or there by Uncle Tupelo & Wilco, but largely ignoring everything else.  There was one Whiskeytown song I adored: Turn Around but by and large the closest I came to Alt-Country was Nirvana: Unplugged in New York.  Enter: Neil Young. Enter: Alvin Youngblood Hart. Simply put: Everything changed.  It was a Neil Young comparison led me to Varnaline. I scooped up their Zero Hours records, starting with the early demo Man Of Sin EP, followed by the self-titled full length, followed by the Shot and a Beer EP, then Sweet Life LP and their swan song via E-Squared/ Artemis Records: Songs In A Northern Key.  After that point future releases were credited to Anders Parker.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Anders Parker as a part of my on again-off again journalism, and it's only made me a greater fan of his work.  He also, like many musicians, has a keen ear for great music.  This also applies to his own, and as a fan, I just want to tout the fact that he had a streaming music player on his site (that was previously linked in the title of this blog post) and the Varnaline albums were each represented by 1 song, and in each case he picked the song that initially snatched my attention away from wherever my mind goes when I'm zoning out to music, and made me focus in on what he'd created.  The player started with full album streams of his most recent work, which includes an EP of ambient instrumental guitar, Cross Latitudes. It was followed by Skyscraper Crow, a double album, one disc composed of synthesizer based recordings (Skyscraper) , and another of acoustic songs (Crow). Then there were selections from his albums baring his name as the artist, which in a surprising turn, omit what I consider the signature songs of said albums, but are still very representative.  Lastly came what for me is an undeniable hit parade of Varnaline tunes.  Since that stream is gone, I have linked to the Youtube generated playlist of Varnaline songs in the title and here is a link to the Anders Parker playlist.  Meanwhile I'll tune in to WILL-FM broadcasting on where what I love lives live over the air.

This still isn't a music blog, it's my blog, and music is a big part of who I am. Thanks to Anders Parker for continually sharing what I consider greatness.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Brain was the name of the Dog on Inspector Gadget.  He was the dopest dog ever.  One step ahead of everyone.  The real detective and secret agent.  Cooler than Snoopy, which seemed impossible when I was a kid.

Brain is the arbiter of our thoughts and how the consciousness interacts with our bodies.  If it goes off the deep end, we usually follow.

Brain is a song the really helped me de-stress during one of the most stressful years of my life up till that point, circa 97'.  It was on a mixtape I made with Some Crew, as well called ourselves back then. I was Grew-Some (I'm finally embracing that name, with that spelling), there was Awe-Some: Jason, (our philosophy major) Hand-Some: Wang/ Robert (the DJ) and Lone-some: De'mon rounded out the core crew.  There was also Ran-some: Mike, who was there in the beginning, but went his own way Jarobi style.  Some-Sh*t would be the 1st International Some as far as I know, that being Dan from the UK, and then there was And Then Some: RC, who would fittingly come up with the coolest Some name, cause he was a step beyond us in his pursuit of his artistic ambitions.  Deep down, our talents seemed to take a backseat to our pursuit of some sort of inner peace.  We were all looking for something, and shared the sum of our means to keep each other grounded, and so we were, and thus we remained, even after we long since went our separate ways into adulthood.

I wasn't fond of being Gruesome, because of issues with my self-image, even though that would have let me draw a parallel to other MCs with wicked sounding monickers.  Grew-some, the clever play on words really did fit though, cause I had some growing to do.  To see where I am vs. where I was, I realize now I had to grow before I could grow into that name.

All that said, I still love that song.  100% chill out vibe.