Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ultimate Sorro-Warrior, Witch Is Worst, Refuse Remembrance

Little late on my post this week. My schedule at work was a little different this week and I have actually been gaming a whole butt-load lately playing Borderlands 2 again. I don't play many games very often, but when I do play a game I play it Ultimate Warrior style. Day in, day out. No sleep, lots of food and soda. You know that kid you knew in high school who no one liked because he was such a loser and it made you puke to even think about having a bonding friendship with that person? That guy was me. And it's nice to reclaim that once auspicious chapter of my life from time to time. And it is also nice to know that a new Borderlands will be coming out in less than two months titled "Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel." I would have a hard time listing a series of games that are even close to being as fun as the Borderlands games. The story telling is magnificent, the characters are engaging and playful and the antics are sometimes crude and compelling all at once. And the inside jokes are never ending. The character I am playing as is called a "Mechromancer" who basically summons a robot pal to her side who has special abilities. But hearing my character yell "Number 5 Alive!" or "To Hell With The First Law!" always makes me chuckle. I had a dream this morning that I was a lore writer for video games. That would be a really cool job to have. Though I am sure it is very competitive and you need a lot of college experience. Being a Maggot won't get you everywhere in life...

This game is so coo...

Took them 7 years to turn
gold into lead.
I also finished all 7 seasons of "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this week. (I know, this week has been crazy productive over here.) I actually rarely ever finish watching an entire series of any show. Usually I get bored or distracted by something before I am able to push through to the end, and often times I don't want to push through the end. I am the same way with games, I have never beaten Final Fantasy 8 and I am kind of grateful for that. It makes it extraordinary every time I pick up a controller to take that game on once ever 2 years or so. But finishing "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" made me think a lot about television shows and how they all sort of follow a similiar formula. For the most part I think we can all agree that a show is at it's best in the first 2 or 3 seasons of it's inception. Then it starts taking a shitty turn when the writers realize, "Well fuck, we have another season to write and we can't have Sabrina do something selfish every episode and have the Witch's Council get all pissed off every other minute and we can't keep having the toaster send summons and shit mail." So I don't really blame the writers for needing to progress with their shows in some way. But a small SPOILER ALERT for anyone who has not seen the last season of "Sabrina The Teenage Witch;" her aunt's leave the show and basically she becomes a shitty writer who starts dating some idiot 40 year old club owner who locks Salem (the talking cat) in a kennel carrier all fucking day, (Fuck you old dude, ANIMAL LIBERATION!!!!!!) and she hardly ever uses her magic at all. Now back to my point; at the point that essentially all the noteworthy characters on a show have checked out and the nucleus of the entire show is basically now a bloated corpse meandering in the froth of the creative pool they once drew upon, shouldn't you just give up? "Hey we had a nice run, now let's just fuck off." Would that be so bad? I know I just went on a huge rant but I guess what I am trying to say is I wish people knew sooner when would be the best time to fuck off. That being said, I am glad Sabrina and Harvey end up living happily ever after. Harvey was coo...

There was a dead fish where I was standing.
Otherwise, we started taking some footage for a Ruined music video the other day. Sky and I walked along the Grand River and took some gloomy shots after it had been raining pretty heavily. I moved a log so Sky could cross a really muddy area and as I was holding it I thought to myself, "Why does this smell like shit?" And then I remembered I was by the Grand River. Good thing I had Purell with me. But yeah that was fun, still quite a bit of work to do but that's happening. Otherwise we are still just working on our new material in preparation of heading into a studio to record. This time of year always gets my bass juices flowing. I am really looking forward to fall and I am glad we will be recording during that time. I feel way more creative and ephemeral during the colder seasons. Some of my fondest memories and first shows I played in Grand Rapids were during the fall and winter time. Dragging 80 pound amps down ice encapsulated stairwells while tripping over passed out junkie punk fucks while beer puke rains upon me. Good times. With that I shall take my own advice and fuck off. This blog post is no longer interesting at all. Stay Gloomy. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mog-Die, Haven Hatred, Home Town Zero's

Winter is coming...
I woke up this morning and went downstairs to make coffee. I was met by the largest swarm of fruit flies I have ever witnessed in my entire life. It's as if I had awoken some ancient and malignant beast within the dregs of our garbage can. The house I live in is not so much a living space as it is a place for coffee grounds and cat litter to shift and sway like a vast sinew desert. A place that time and bleach has forgotten. I moved forward with a heinous gait and forged a path through the Fruit Fly Fortress into the Flion's Den where I slayed the Fly King and sat upon the Rotting Throne. In laymen's terms I took the trash out to the curb. The downside to this is I noticed a spider had set up shop right next to our garbage can and was probably benefiting greatly from the swarm. I really like spiders, I used to be terrified of them when I was young and I am glad I overcame those fears. I still would not enjoy having spiders crawling all over me but I find them fascinating and they naturally dispose of what we consider "pesky" insects. Which saves me the trouble of having to wage war as I described earlier. I'm sure my efforts were only a temporary set back for the fly kingdom though and the spider will have plenty to eat still. One upside to the dead of winter in Michigan is the lack of fruit flies, but of course there is the whole frigid death choking the life from your veins every hour of every day for several months. Can't wait.

Kill em' all.

Our set in summation.
In current events, Ruined played a show last night with Bird Lord, Scowler and Dakhma at Spoke Folks. It was a cool spot that I had never been to before in a strange and mystical nugget of Grand Rapids that I had never driven by before. Right next to the bicycle shop was a motorcycle club on one side and an auto-mechanic's shop on the other side. The motorcycle club was doing what can only be described as decibel shattering sub-sonic burnouts up and down the street the entire night. Which was nice to know that noise complaints wouldn't be a problem for us. Otherwise the space itself was a cool narrow industrial workshop that was perfect for a two piece band like us. The first band Bird Lord was an amalgamation of several members of different bands around Grand Rapids. It was their first show ever but I would have never suspected that if they hadn't told us. Every member was really talented and had a great familiarity with their equipment and effects. We played next and as always shows are a bittersweet affair for me. As a misanthropic shit-shingle, I pretty much always assume I am unwelcome in any space I am inhabiting; often times even in my own living space. Sometimes when I talk to people after a show, I feel I may be seeing the experience through my shaded perceptions or I may be projecting my abhorrent spirit onto others. With that being said, I felt as though we confused and confounded many attendees last night and I left alienated and pensive. One thing I need to always remember is that most people go to shows to have a good time, and we are certainly not a good times band. So I shouldn't be surprised when people are saying to themselves, "Why the fuck is this guy bumming me the fuck-out, I just wanna watch some cool bands and go home and jerk-off stalefish." Which I can completely admire and respect. But otherwise we played really well and I felt like everything sounded really good. I certainly need to get back on my work out routine though because I was out of breath after the first song and I'm sure I was flat for 2/3 of the show. Sorry to anyone who had to listen to that.

I wonder.
By the time I fell asleep I landed on the conclusion that there is a time and place for everything, and that within any given music scene or D.I.Y. culture there are going to be things people like, and things that they could give Jack shit about. And although I don't think our "thing" is really hip or happening in Grand Rapids right now I still want to try playing as often as possible in and around Grand Rapids over the next several months. And realistically the alienation and contemplation I feel after a local show is nothing more than inspiration for my musical endeavors and I should be grateful that everyone hates me and my whiny stupid band. And I am of course also extremely grateful to the couple of gloom gargoyles who do seem to genuinely dig what we're doing and I wouldn't really have it any other way. I would rather relate to the lonely and the forgotten few then be a cool ass band everyone likes. Where is the character building in that? Stay Gloomy.

P.S.  A blog called "Captain of Lies" did two short reviews for "Vessel" and "Familiar." Check it out HERE!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bleeding Black, Police Story, Self Abuse Soliloquy

I am drinking Zakk Wylde's brand of coffee right now. It's called "Valhalla Java" and it's pretty tasty. I have always really liked Zakk Wylde believe it or not. I never really liked any bands he was in but I appreciated his talent and abilities. And I actually saw an interview with him when I was a teenager and the biggest advice he gave to aspiring musicians was "Get a metronome, and play every fucking day." Simple words but that always stuck with me. Say what you want about that dude but he practices every damn day and shits on phony "weekend warrior" musicians. I wish I had his drive and ambition, I used to when I was a younger lad. By the time I am out of work and I take my nap and drink a tall mug of "Valhalla Java" coffee I am still too wore out to play for longer than a few minutes a night. I do try and make a point to play at least 10 minutes a day if nothing else. It may not be much but I am a strong believer in the strength of muscle memory and our brains synapses. Keeps shit locked down. But of course that's why when I was 17 I could play almost anything on bass and now I am just an old stupid idiot who bullshit's his way through bass riffs and cries every night over my lost youth.

"You don't have the right, you fuck."

Speaking of crying, I have two subjects I would like to complain about on matters that have occurred in the past week. Firstly and most importantly, I'm sure you have all heard about the Mike Brown shooting in Missouri, (If not, read about it HERE.) There is a lot of emotions going around and everyone has an opinion on the matter, so here's another one! Of course I was not there, but anyone can stick their head out of their car window and see how much police have a literal choke hold on this country. My prediction is just like every other story, the officer in question will walk away and the justice system will do nothing about it. It goes without saying that our justice/prison systems are complete farces that only people of privilege and power benefit from. So I won't go on a diatribe about this specific incident and the best thing I feel that I can do or any of us can do is remember this atrocity and to remember that Mike Brown was an innocent man murdered for no reason other than prejudice and the autonomy of police infallibility. I get both furious about this horrible action police have committed in Missouri, but I also feel anger that people only give a fuck about police brutality when their actions are so extreme they cannot be hidden from public view. And then after a few weeks things calm down and it's back to business as usual. The most important thing we can do as human beings is to sustain our outrage and to project it in productive, meaningful and direct ways.

The second thing I want to talk about is the unfortunate news that has eclipsed the very real, pervasive and ongoing story of the Mike Brown shooting. As EVERYONE ON EARTH KNOWS, Robin Williams apparently committed suicide on Monday. No offense to Robin, but his timing really behooved the white elite by downplaying the entire Mike Brown story. Instead of burning every copy of "Time Cop" in protest, everyone was sobbing and watching "Aladdin" Monday night. Now to be certain, I was deeply crushed to hear of Robin's demise Monday afternoon. I coincidentally happened to watch the movie "The Birdcage" Monday afternoon and shortly after the movie was over my father texted me the news of his death. He was one of my favorite actors and many of his roles touched me at a personal and philosophical level. But as I said it was very frustrating to see how distracting that was for everyone while something deeply historic and critical of our culture was blowing up in Missouri. The other frustrating thing was people's reactions to the fact that Robin committed suicide and the concept of depression. First of all, I don't believe in depression the way most people do. I do believe that some people suffer from debilitating chemical imbalance and perhaps do need medical help. But for every person like that, I would say 50 people say they are suffering from the same thing. Anyone who knows me for several years knows that I have had deep spiraling emotional turmoil and self loathing from time to time. These hours spent in darkness may be described by most as "depression." I have always detested that simplification of a natural chasm of our emotional journeys. I have been fortunate enough to develop constructive ways of harnessing my melancholy and pretty much every song I have ever written has been a catharsis for my dark side. But that doesn't mean that sadness or "depression" is a negative thing. When someone famous commits suicide, people see it as an opportunity to have an open dialogue about depression, usually by demonizing it and treating it as something that must be removed. I think we should talk about depression, but emotions are not a scale that is meant to be tipped one way or the other. It is about finding a balance between our joys and our sorrows. Personally I have found joy within my sorrows and I know I am lucky for that. And that's another reason I hate everyone, because most people feel alienated about being sad when everyone else is JUST FUCKING DANDY! Well I say fuck these smiling fakes, fuck these happy addicts, and fuck everyone now that I think of it.

P.S. I know this post wasn't very enjoyable, so here is George Carlin talking about death. God hates us all.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anger and Coffee, Feeling Mean, Tape Trade Brigade

"Chocobo Racing" is the first thing I
think of when I hear the word "Golem."
Started my day with watery coffee today. What's worst in your opinion? Watery coffee or too strong coffee? When it's too strong it kind of tastes like cough syrup, but when it's watery it's kind of like if a Golem pissed in your cup. I was just mentioning at work how envious I am when I see someone take their first sip of coffee of the day. Only because you can't attain that feeling until the next day again; you had your moment now it's their turn. I am really glad I joined the coffee club a few years back. I used to hate coffee and didn't start drinking it regularly until I was probably 22 or 23. It's one of the few cultural commodities that I can actual relate with people about. I don't drink craft beer and I can't bond over the rotting corpse of another sentient being laid to waste while it's family watches in horror.
Morning ritual.
So I can see why I am alienated from people often but it's nice that I can agree on coffee at least. I think I have linked this before and I'm sure everyone has read it already, but I liked THIS INTERVIEW NPR did with Jerry Seinfeld about coffee. I think I would like to hang out with that guy. Maybe he could give me a lift home one day after RuPaul drops me off at the National Maggot Convention at an undisclosed location in Iowa. Have you seen that video where RuPaul gives Henry Rollins a lift and they talk about love and shit? Check that shit out below if not it's worth a watch. Henry Rollins will always be a confounding individual to me. I respect him in so many ways, but depending on what year it is his views are either spot on or completely fucked. Henry, stop saying "bitch" so much please. Or at all. That's my main gripe bro, just let that shit go. You're almost there. P.S. The new Slipknot song is fucking awesome F.Y.I. I don't really get the video and I miss the days where it was a kid eating gross cereal and getting a boner while he cuts meat, but it is decent.

I wanna be a Renaissance man.

Now onto my own fucked perspectives on the world. The last few days I have been scouring the internet to find a sample for the demo of the opening track on Ruined's full length that I have been working on tirelessly. I will return to that in a moment but essentially I was searching for a gnarly speech or interview about some raw ass God hate or something of the like. I was searching for some hard ass Norwegian dude talking about how Odin would beat the shit out of the Christian God any day of the week. The egg shells I was stepping on was I did not want to sample a racist shit-fuck like a lot of those guys are. I found a sweet sample of Kristoffer Rygg from Ulver back in 1994 talking about Christianity. He said "Christianity is a weak credit to religion." But it was unfortunately in Finnish.Which is cool but I just wasn't feeling it and I hate exploiting or displacing another culture that I have nothing to do with. So I ended up finding another one that is more vague in a poetic sense. It allows the listener to sort of take what they think about it away without coercing them too much. But it was astounding how little I could find through my searches. I was typing all kinds of shit to find some stone cold anti-christian ideology. Where are the George Carlin's of the world? Why are no strong cultural entities standing strong against the plague of piety? All I could find in my search were political or religious leaders speaking out against "The Apostasy of (Insert Religion Here.)" What apostasy? At best I see most people who consider themselves non-religious to be completely apolitical about their beliefs. Which is fine, to each their own. But I don't understand why Christians would ever feel like victims and I guarantee that we will go another 2000 years before that scale ever tips. In their minds, they have won already. When we all die we go burn and they go soar above us forever and ever. So what's the fucking problem? Why the fuck do you care if Johnny McGod-Sucks says "Fuck you, I'm tired of kneeling." You get to go frolic in the meadows of mediocrity with Emperor Theodosius I, The Teutonic Order and every piece of shit who had anything to do with The Bureau of Indian Affairs. I will bathe in the molten springs of Hell and enjoy a face melting cup of Joe with Heraclitus, Thomas Paine, and Friedrich Nietszche. I bet they have some great stories.  

We all must burn.
Let's trade!
Back to my usual Ruined bullshit. As I said I finished demos for our full length the other night which I am pretty proud of overall. We still have a lot of work to do before we head to a studio but I am hoping to do so within the next 2 or 3 months. Otherwise I have been kicking a lot of ideas around the office and I think a few of them may come to fruition. Firstly, I just got a tape rack and was wanting to trade some "FAMILIAR" Ruined tapes for other bands tapes. If you are at interested send me a message on the RUINED FACEBOOK PAGE or send me an email at and we can work something out. Secondly, we are hoping to shoot a music video in the next few weeks with the help of my good ole buddy Monte of PALM HANDS. It won't be anything crazy, just a montage of gloomy ass shit probably. I have also been thinking about investing in a video camera of my own and doing some sort of weekly or bi-weekly podcast of some kind. I don't really know what a podcast is but I would probably just "do it live." I used to take video and do video editing all the time and had a lot of fun with it. I had a really shitty camera and even shittier video editing software but it was fun nonetheless. I had actually totally forgotten about this video below that I made 3 years ago for the song "Bloodhail" by Have A Nice Life. Pretty fucking boring overall but I am surprised it has even 400 views. Anywho, check it out if you want. I was really gangly back then cause I only ate lint and 1 plate of spaghetti a day. And would puke blood from stress caused by the person I was dating at the time as I have mentioned before. Puking blood is a great way to lose pounds. Stay Gloomy.