Thursday, October 31, 2013

You Say Potato, I Say Fuck It, Pensive Patience

I was thinking about potatoes a few minutes ago. I am currently frying up some potatoes to make potato burritos and I thought about how over the years this dish has become one of my favorite meals. And not to toot my own bah-gerp, but I can sherp a potato burrito like it ain't no derp. And perhaps it is the spooky nature of today being Halloween or watching too much X-Files again but I thought about a likely scenario: What if someone broke into my home and tied up me and all my roommates and at gun point demanded a damn fine potato burrito or they would execute us one by one? I must say in that situation, I would feel pretty relieved. I just hope they would make me go first. But there would be a lot of pressure still though, potatoes can be a sweet but cruel mistress. You have to have just the right amount of heat, just the right amount of seasonings and you have to have the right ingredients for sure. Firstly, it's olive oil or fuck all. Vegetable oil may be fine for Fucky McFuckSwing but that shit is abominable. Also as many of you know, there are many varieties of potato. Russet potatoes are tried and true and in a pinch, they are sufficient. But they lack the fortitude of other potatoes. They get mushy really easily and don't brown very well. But in the lowest valleys of my life, russet potatoes have been a loyal ally in my battle towards survival. Red skin potatoes are probably my second favorite potato so far. Once again, they are not my favorite though for frying, because they also get a little loose. But they definitely hold the compliment of dill really well for potato salads and they have a natural creaminess that makes them great for mashed potatoes and soups. But my personal favorite would have to be Solanum Tuberosum, also known as a good ole fashion Michigan white potato for all you good ole boys and girls. Just a nice all purpose potato with all the bells and whistles a country gal or guy like me could dream of. Just thinking about those potato plants being swept with that cool moist Great Lakes air brings a tear to my eye. Delicious and comforting, if only intercourse would produce such affirmations.

This is a comic I drew a while back. Upon review, I may have had some self esteem issues. 

"We'll do it live, fuck it!" -My life motto
Now that I have eaten my sustenance I am preparing for a long day of recording. As of right now the song I am working on is about fifteen minutes long. With doing multiple takes and layers, I am not certain if I will be done by the end of the day. Going into this endeavor I have a desire to make it sound really good and as professional sounding as possible, but I also don't want to lose that "Fuck it, do it live" attitude. I will probably do maybe two takes and say "Fuck it" and then spend many hours mixing and fixing what I fucked up by only doing two takes. That's the "Doing it live" part. The shitty thing is I wish I had a nice analog tube amp. I was listening to "Two Hunters" by Wolves In The Throne Room last night on vinyl and was just blown away by there sound. The song "Cleansing" also just fucks me up almost every time I hear it. To imagine being able to sing that beautifully seems celestial and unattainable. Mastery of instruments is very physical and also can seem ethereal beyond comprehension, but the power of voice is something else all together. That is such an internal, inborn trait that I can't help but feel that each and every person who can sing like that has been gifted with the grace of Kerry King.

On a more somber note, I have been listening to the song "Light and Solitude" by Envy a lot lately. It has been making me feel very pensive and nostalgic. The nostalgia is being drawn from how this song reminds me of Final Fantasy every time I listen to it. Envy is one of those bands I just appreciate and lovingly accept the gifts they have bestowed upon me. I draw a lot of inspiration from a lot of bands including Envy, but unlike other bands, I am not envious of Envy. Other bands I listen to and I want to strive to do what they are doing. I want to be them. But when I listen to this song, I just think about all of the musicians in that band and how it was just a matter of luck and perhaps fate that brought them all together. The way the guitar melodies caress the air and encapsulate the
senses. And the drums just make all the right hits in all the right places cascading you deeper and deeper into another dimension of thought. And I highly suggest looking up the lyrics of Tetsuya Fukagawa, they are nothing less then poetic genius. I have no ambition of ever creating something as perfect as this song or this band. I don't possess the collective power that this band and many other bands have. I hope to one day maybe be a part of something greater then myself as a piece of an incredible band like this. But to try and achieve something that amazing on my own is just futile. So I guess when I begin recording today, I am doing it with a humble heart. And though I am going to do my utmost to create something great, I am just one creature beneath the sun. One beast above the soil. For now.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Nailed To The X-Files, Later-Anus, The Capricorn Curse

Even this episode creeped me out.
I woke up today feeling anxious and restless which was probably due to two factors. The first one being that I watched way too many episodes of the X-Files last night and it put me a little on edge. Still to this day at 24 years old that theme song still creeps me the fuck out. When I was a kid I had two options when my parents would watch that show: Either sit in the dark room with my parents and watch the show, or sit in an adjacent dark room by myself and cry and listen to the noises of spooky aliens coming to eat my face off. That was the situation for me a lot of times when I was young. I was easily scared of the dark, or spiders or aliens. So while my parents or peers wanted to watch scary movies, they would often times roll their eyes and realize "Oh wait, Zach is scared of every fucking thing that has ever existed, guess we should lock him in another room so we don't have to listen to his cries of terror." That may be a mild exaggeration but you get my point. I felt like I was a burden a lot of times, but in some ways that may have helped me overcome my fears. As I got older, I just sort of stopped being scared. It happened very rapidly and I couldn't pin point when I started to be okay with scary things but one day I just grew up I guess. But watching that show brought about a lot of repressed anxieties that I used to feel on a daily basis when I was a young boy. Though I find that show interesting and fun to watch, I think I need to pace myself whenever I watch it.

But the second thing that drove me from my slumber was that my hand recorder arrived in the mail yesterday. So today was the first day that the cosmic door of being able to record shit was open to this lowly potato munching maggot. I also needed to start finishing vocals for the four Procession songs we recorded back in February. It's really hard to believe that it's been that long since we recorded those songs, but hey I guess if it takes us eight months to finish four songs then they must be pretty fucking good songs right? I mean Tool took five years to write "Lateralus" and that had thirteen songs on it. So we're about on track with that shit. And to be fair, this is some of the best shit we have ever written. Hopefully it will be well worth the wait. I don't really know what lies ahead for that band but I am feeling really excited about those recordings and who knows. Do it live.

If only we sounded this good.

Professor Shit-Shingle is nothing like Ben Stiller in
"Pick of Destiny." He'd be totally coo.
He looks more like this shit-ass. What a shit-ass.
The day after I ordered that recorder though I ended up ordering a mic stand to hold it while I am playing instruments or doing vocals. The mic stand arrived earlier today but I was foolish enough to think that it came with a mic clip attachment with it. It of course did not. So now I am delayed once again for recording the Ruined tracks I have been talking about recently. I could do it and just lean the hand recorder against something but it'd be nice to keep a consistent sound setup throughout the recording process. But anywho, I thought about going to Guitar Center to just buy one on the spot instead of waiting for a clip to show up in the mail. But I have decided I am officially retiring from shopping at Guitar Center. I had so many reasons to hate that store for so long but now I have had enough. I have described the employees of Guitar Center before: Narcissistic, bile bellowing shit-hammers. But there is this one guy who, for the sake of anonymity, we will call "Professor Shit-Shingle." I fucking hate this guy. Whenever I walk into that store he is of course always there, waiting in the shadows to strike out and spew his drivel and hawk his shitty guitar strings and unreasonably priced bullshit. But there is someone I hate even more then him, and that is myself. I despise the way that I act when he talks. I just sort of nervously laugh at his dreadful jokes and try to push through so I can just buy my fucking strings and leave. And when he finds out that all I want to spend is four dollars, he starts pining and imploring me to buy more shit. And it is so ingrained within me to avoid confrontation that I just bottle it up and hope that it will all be over soon. Despite my intense misanthropy, it is difficult for me to be rude to people especially strangers. It's that damn Capricorn personality I tell you. If I had my druthers, this would be the perfect scenario. I enter the store. "Hey bro! Come to check out the X-49 Turd Humper huh?" says Professor Shit-Shingle. And I would respond with, "Fuck you Professor Shit-Shingle. I hope your dental hygienist castrates you with dental floss at your next cleaning."  Only in a perfect world. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Porcelain Pontification, I Don't Fun, Gloomedge Revenge

My morning routine.
Believe it or not, I often times come up with ideas for this blog while I am sitting upon the porcelain throne. In fact, I feel that many people overlook the useful amount of time we spend in the bathroom. I have found that it is a vital time that has wondrous potential for productivity and creativity. For example, aside from using that time to come up with delightful topics that astound and entertain you fine people, I have also written some of my best music in there. Hand to Kerry King, I'd say about 80% of the time I spend in the bathroom I will bring a bass or a guitar into the facilities with me. Why not? You are just sitting there debasing yourself with bodily imperatives. Mine as well get some work done! And usually the acoustics are excellent so that is also a bonus. I usually find it difficult to sing though, since my diaphragm is preoccupied expelling feculence. But take some advice from a simple sailor, if you're going to make doo-doo, better get some shit done-done.

Speaking of productivity, Ruined has been in high gear for the past week. It feels so good to be passionate about playing bass again. I have said this over and over again, but every time I pick up my bass I am so pissed at myself for ever putting it down. I have been working on some new material for the split that I mentioned in my last post. I have been putting a lot more effort into learning how to build drum tracks and making the tracks sound a lot more interesting. But I also get very anxious and frustrated with doing that stuff since I am not a drummer in any sense of the word. So realistically I have no idea what would sound good when I am building those tracks. So far all I know is that if the drums are slow and boring things seem to sound heavy to me. But I am trying to experiment with doing new things I've never done with this type of music. Since it is only going to be a drum track, bass guitar and vocals, I feel that I need to do a lot of stuff with the bass to keep it interesting. While still maintaining the stark and barren sound that I am going for. But once I get those drum tracks done I am hoping to buy a hand recorder this week and start recording shit. On the topic of recording and gloom music though, Dan from Have A Nice Life posted a link yesterday about his label Enemies List. He is trying to reformat his relationship with the label but needs some help over the next year to get things situated. (Balancing life, music,work etc.) That man, band and label have had a huge impact on my life and so I would like to encourage you to check out this link ( It's a little long, but if you read the whole thing it makes a lot of sense. He needs at least 400 people to make it work though. I get paid tomorrow so my ass is hopping on that shit like lumberjacks playing blackjack with flapjacks while carving jack-o-lanterns and using Jack Daniel's as lubrication for jacking-off.


Best Edge Day ever.
On a more personal note, today is Edge Day, a straight edge holiday. It is an auspicious day that is vague in it's observances. It just happened to be the day that an annual hardcore music festival was happening once a year. It would have been a lot cooler if it was the celebration of the day that a beer baron was drowned by his own son but we were not fortunate enough to find that nugget of knowledge in the history books. But it is fun once a year to be reminded of what straight edge is or means to each and every one of us. I have discussed straight edge on this blog before, but this post is more about the nostalgia I feel on a day like today. It was early September of 2009 that I decided to become straight edge, and now it is 2013. A lot has changed in 4 short years, but that is a constant within the blizzard of vicissitude. I was an entirely different person 4 years ago, but I am grateful for my mistakes and lessons that I have learned. As Destiny's Child would say, "If I surround myself with positive things, I will find prosperity." Now that was a great 90's straight edge band right there. My positive things are not typical though: rainy days, fog, grey clouds blocking out the sun. That may sound like I am being a goofball but I honestly find comfort in the macabre. So I may not seem like the posi-est piper in the pickle pantry but as long as I am enveloped in darkness then I am a happy camper. And it's nice to have an understanding lady-friend who lets me be gloomy as fuck all the time. She gave me the LP of "Destroy The Machines" by Earth Crisis this morning. She initially got it for Christmas but it arrived yesterday and today just made way more sense. So that made my Edge Day super special. I hope yours are equally magical.

Remember Victory Records being cool?

"Straight edge - the discipline. The key to self liberation is abstinence from the destructive escapism of intoxication. I separate from the poison - a mindlessness I've always abhorred. Usage will only increase the pain, a truth I constantly see ignored. The pollutants that kill the body breed apathy within the mind. The substances that once brought release in the end will always confine."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Monk of Monotony, Dust In The Sin, Reaping The Wreckage

Kerry King = Hippie Holocaust
Autumn is in the air, and perhaps it is the organic matter beginning to decay or the recent increase in precipitation, but I have been in a pretty decent mood the past few days. First of all, my nephew Jack Atlas Meier was born at 7:45 a.m. on October 8th at 7lbs 8oz. So that was super duper awesome. It's crazy holding a human being that was inside someone just a few hours earlier. My brother and sister-in-law are tired as fuck but seemed to be doing dandy nonetheless. And it is strange to realize that there is now a generation between you and the abyss of progress. I went from being a middle child, to being an uncle in just a short 9 months. And now I have to get to work on making him a vegan straight edge warrior. Luckily I would break into my brother's apartment every night for the past 9 months and would play Earth Crisis through headphones around his wife's tummy. Needless to say, that kid will be "A Firestorm To Purify!!!!" But also yesterday was the birthday of some pretty neat people. It was John Lennon's birthday and over the years I have accepted that he was the King of the Hippies, but I still think he was a great man whom I wished hadn't had to meet his end the way he did. But it was also one of my co-worker's birthday who has been slaying upon the Earth for many moons now and it felt good to make his birthday somewhat cool even though he was at work. I remember becoming a cook on my 16th birthday, and look at me now! life is boring and stupid...fuck... Anywho! Though I wish pestilence and famine on most of the mouth-breathers this cesspool called "Life" congeals on the daily, it has felt good to take a short sabbatical from hating everything and everyone for once.

The key to self liberation!!!

One of Chumm's few shows ended
in such an awesome way.
Like that Elton John song says,
"Our giant inverted cross burned
out long before our legend ever did."
But enough of that posi-shit!! Let's talk about The Gloom!! THE GLOOOOOOMMMM!!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! As I mentioned earlier, Autumn is a time of rebirth and reflection for your's truly. I never realize it until I am in the grips of it, but I do the majority of my music writing and playing in the Fall months. Almost any band I have ever played with we wrote our best stuff and played our best shows around this time of year. My first real band Cult of Reason would play basement shows all the time over on Richard Terrace St. Procession wrote "Spring Thaw" in the frigid unheated depths of The Cage one Autumn's eve. And I wrote the majority of my gloom songs for Longing in the dark embrace of my room towards the end of October and early November a few years back. My old vegan straight edge hardcore band played our first show November 1st of 2010 I believe. Boy that sent us tumbling down the old rabbit hole I tell you what my interesting sailor friends. And who could forget the faithless night that Chumm played Fowlerville? Hell swam to the High Heavens that night. And our tour van "The Red Dragon" took a shit on the way home. Fuck, hard to believe how long ago all those times were. My ass is getting nostalgic as shit right now. Good Times 

Back to the gloom. As I have mentioned a few times in this blog, I have been trying to get a drum and bass project off the ground called RUINED for a little while now. A lot of barriers have been in the way and my general problem of having my spirit crushed by yuppies every waking moment of my life. But with the power of Autumn and astonishingly dreadful rainy days, I have been trying to push through and start getting material together for recording a release. As of right now I have plans for two upcoming releases, one being a two song EP or possible LP depending on how carried away I get with the shoegaze drone. And the other release is a split I am planning on doing with one of my oldest and most cherished friends. Without "Ruining" too many surprises, I am really excited about doing that split and have many cool ideas for making the physical copies we distribute to be unique and fun to create. Without getting too carried away with the creativity of the packaging. (See the final paragraph of a previous post HERE for my thoughts on the shit-squeezing obsession of "D.I.Y." music distribution.)  But I think it will be fun for any Gloom Gurus who pick up the record to know that a lot of care and work went into their purchase. As always though, I have no idea when I will begin recording for these endeavors. It will probably end up being a rainy day, an 8-Track and will just be done fucking live probably. Who knows. I am a broke ass with little access to even decent recording equipment. But hey, no one's perfect. 

Been loving Jesu again lately.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sugar Mountain, Waffle Making Kicking Through The Shit, The Actualization of Araya

I named my cat Harvey after this man.
Technically they're a girl cat but fuck the gender binary.
Have you ever heard the saying "A Watched Pot Never Boils?" Well this sailor can tell you first hand, that statement is untrue. (In that last sentence I wanted to say, "This sailor can tell you first hand THAT THAT statement is untrue." I feel like I do that way too often. I do THAT "THAT" thing. I need less THAT'S in my life and more commas. I think THAT is the right thing to do. Fuck it.) Anywho, watched pot remember? Stay with me. I just stole some leftover, room temperature coffee from my roommate, (sorry Richard.) And as I tell people often I take my coffee like Harvey Keitel's character "Winston Wolf" in Pulp Fiction. "Lots of cream, lots of sugar." Or in my case, "Lots of almond milk, lots of organic, fair trade, locally grown, no preservatives, gluten free, all natural, cage free cane sugar" Not really, it's that bleached asshole kind of sugar. But I didn't want to add cold ass almond milk to room temperature coffee so I splashed some in a pot and put it on the stove full blast. Within a few moments it was boiling like a pit warrior at a Justin Bieber concert. It still tastes like a microwaved plastic bag floating in boot broth but hey it's coffee.

I needed a boost after playing a Tristram show last night. Luckily the show was at a house known as "The Waffle Haus" which is literally just down the street from our place. We really need to invest in a van though, because it still took 3 small ass cars to drag all our shit over there. I have no idea where any of this money will come from but I guess that is the life of a rock star. The show itself was okay at best. We ended up playing last and we pretty much played to the other bands. But honestly, that is not always such a bad thing. Obviously I would prefer more people would come out and buy merch so we can purchase more bleached asshole sugar, but it is always good to make band connections with out of town bands and local bands. I also had never been nor played at that space and it was nice to break the ice over there. That being said, I didn't get home till midnight and I am usually in bed by 9:30 p.m. And yeah I know I am a fucking loser. I have a strange dichotomy within myself when it comes to playing shows. I either want to tour for 2 months straight, or pretty much stay at home all the time every night. When I have a local or out of town show, I pretty much dread it all day and ruin the rest of my day leading up to the gig. It's not quite as intense as having an anxiety about it, but I really hate having plans on the horizon. I like to feel like I can do whatever the fuck I want when I get home. But on the other end of that, when I am on tour, I love that the only things I have to worry about are eating, sleeping and playing the gig that night. It simplifies and compresses all my concerns into 3 easy to focus on categories. Fuck I want to tour. Fuck working. I don't even want to think about that shit since I am actually in a decent mood this morning.

Before I started this post, I put my Itunes on random. I rarely ever do that since usually I land on a lot of bullshit that I never listen to and should probably delete. But in the time that I typed this so far I have had "After The Gold Rush" by Neil Young, "Failures" by Joy Division, "Why Are We Not Perfect?" by Jesu, "Accept Yourself" by The Smiths, "This Photograph Is Proof" by Taking Back Sunday, "Call In The Night Boy" by Talk Talk and "Funeral Rites" by Sepultura. Been a good start to a most likely lazy day. But listening to these bands and thinking about that show last night I realize more and more that I need to become more dedicated to my craft. I played pretty sloppy last night and it has been a while since I had that much trouble playing. I am usually a finely tuned mosh machine but I was an adolescent hiccup humper last night. I talk about musicianship and passion all the time, and yet I know I am allowing working all the time to crush or at least dampen my spirit and endeavors. And just knowing that I am unsatisfied with playing on mediocre gear after almost 13 years of playing on that garbage. It's good for getting a start, but I have never been able to break that barrier between me and decent shit. Cause I am a broke ass fool. I seriously wish one of these trust fund fuckhole bands would clip me with their tour van so I could just take all their shit from them and they would have to ask their parents for even better gear. It'd be worth having to limp on and off the stage every night. But hey that's just me being petty right? "Raining Blood" by Slayer just came on. I read a story that Tom Araya trained to be a respiratory therapist and funded Slayer's album "Show No Mercy" with that job. Then when they were going to go on their first big tour he had to decide whether to keep his job, or take a risk and do it fucking live. Maybe I need to follow the Path of Araya, minus the Catholicism of course. God Hates Us All.

One of my personal favorites.