Thursday, February 27, 2014

In My Head I'm Still Fighting, Bouquet Of Clumsy Words, A Musical Thing

If only.

Lately I have been doing something that a lot of people do, but I try my hardest to avoid doing but I have been worrying about money a lot lately. I won't go into details but basically I went to college which apparently helps you make money, but I was unaware that I owed money to essentially the Umbrella Corporation and now I am way further in debt then I thought I was and the zombie apocalypse is most likely just around the river bend. Zombies will come and eat my face and best case scenario I become a smart zombie who can open doors and shoot a bazooka otherwise my fate is much like a puddle. A puddle of sinew and various neoplasms reduced upon cement and tire tread.

So this subject makes me want to weigh in on my college experiences and now that I am a 20 something and my life is over, I feel that I have gained some perspective and perhaps even some wisdom on the subject. Essentially, when I was a wee lad in the magical countrysides of Michigan, I was naive and thought that going to college would be a great experience and would help me find a career that I loved so I could live comfortably while still pursuing my dreams. Now I would like to take a small step back and say that I am grateful I went to college for some reasons. Because I would have never been exposed to certain things had I never gone to college. Most of the philosophers I still read today I first learned of while I was in college. But the ironic thing was almost any philosopher I would read would basically say, "Higher education is a fucking joke, you're wasting your time. I spent all my money on higher education and I am fucking miserable." I have never been able to find the exact quote again, but I remember reading a passage from Nietzsche while I was in college that was essentially "The exceptional person does not seek a calling, but knows to be called." And I always related with that greatly. You cannot manifest destiny, it is simply something you can feel within yourself. But back to the whole college shit. If I ever had a child and they asked me for guidance I would hope that perhaps they maybe had scholarships and other things given to them from third parties so that they wouldn't have to waste any of their personal (or my) money. If that were the case, I would encourage them to go. I think it made me a better overall person after going to college, and had I not gone I probably would be pretty stupid. I'd probably be better at my instruments but at the cost of cognition. But if they had to go and dig themselves into debt in order for that experience, than fuck that. It is not worth it. Unless they want to be a corporate drone and have zero substance I would tell them it is not worth their time. If they want to be a liberal arts major, an artist of some kind or writer then they are just fucking themselves over. I would tell them to learn a trade skill and read every book they can. I have posted this video below before, but if you have not seen it I implore you to watch it. It's only about 2 minutes long and it is from a really great philosopher named Alan Watts. I always felt that this short passage always summed up my entire perspective on life.

"You were supposed to sing, or to dance
while the music was being played."

Now of course just like every post I have to give some Ruined updates. We are going to be playing a show at the Waffle Haus tomorrow night February 28th. I am going to be doing a solo acoustic set since we are doing an all acoustic split release with Palm Hands and we are only going to dub about 20 tapes and then that's it. I have been dubbing my side to get a head start and I listened to it the other night, if it was up to me this would be the only way you would want to listen to these songs. So I highly suggest coming out and buying one while you can. I will most likely put the songs on Bandcamp at least for a short while but they will sound like microchips. Way too digital, it will lack warmth. You have to have this tape is what I am telling you. Remember that thing you did years ago that you will regret for the rest of your life? Not buying this tape will be another one of those things. Also, I might have some Ruined shirts printed up by tomorrow but that's a big maybe. As I mentioned in the above paragraph, I am kind of righteously fucked right now. I would appreciate the support if you were hoping to get some Ruined gear anyways now would be just a fucking dandy time to do so! YAY!!!!!!! Otherwise, Ruined is not playing until March 30th in Muskegon with Planning for Burial which I am excited about. Hopefully I can be out of my post-college grave site by then and can afford a van. Probably won't though since God hates us all.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Subcutaneous Soliloquy, Sick From Shadows, Bass Ventura

This is how I felt.
For those who don't know I have been undergoing some minor procedures to rid myself of warts on my right fingers and palm. I got a wart on the inside of my right ring finger probably 5 or 6 years ago now. A second one showed up right next to it probably 3 or 4 years ago and then nothing else happened and I decided to ignore it. You know, like when you try and ignore the rabid panther that tries to remove your larynx every night. We've all been in that situation, and we've all had to spend hard cash on industrial strength panther repellent. That shit ain't cheap, and don't get me started on the vampires. What I've spent on cloves of garlic could have put my first illegitimate child through college. You're on your own Maggot Meier! Anywho, I ignored them for too long and they got mildly out of control. I started treatment late last year at a dermatologist office and I am almost done now but I still got about 8 injections today and then liquid nitrogen. Ever had a needle shoved into the pad of a calloused finger tip? Even a mosh warrior can be stricken down with a pain like that. Fuck that hurt.

But after the procedure I have to wait around for 30 minutes each time because there is a risk that I could go into shock and choke on my own tongue or some shit. While I was waiting for my seizure to make an appearance I was reading the book "Against Happiness" by Eric G. Wilson. I have mentioned this book and this author before in previous posts. I owe him a lot for my own mental stability and showing me that I am not such a fuck up for having morose inclinations or macabre strategies on how to live my life. But as I read I thought about the place I was and what people were doing there. A giant TV screen  relays mind altering information beneath the vapid phrases of "You're fine just the way you are! But you could always be better!" It was so strange being in an environment like that while reading that book. Most people who enter that building are trying to control their fate and their own decay. They fear insecurity above all else, which in itself contradicts the rhythm of life. Life is chaotic, fluid and furious. And the summation of the chapter was as Alan Watts said, "There is contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity." To let go and claw at the rivers edge is to live life to it's fullest! There is no happiness, only the perfect blending of the duality of nature. There is no joy without sorrow, no vivacious sun without a pockmarked moon. I stand firm behind the door of melancholy and push back at any breach of "happiness addiction." It is because of my disposition towards the dark side that I feel I have found my own emotional salvation and ethical evolution. Why do I choose to be vegan? Because I believe that relating with the suffering and cruelty of other sentient beings at every meal helps me grow as a kinder, and hopefully wiser human being. Does it change the world? No. Does it change my perception of the world? Absolutely. Why do I abstain from drugs and alcohol? Because they would confuse and distort my perceptions, and leave me with bogging depression, narcissistic jubilation or worst of all, numbing neutrality. This is not an ethos for all to live by, but these are the reflections of a man who hopes to reach self-actualization one day far beyond the horizon.

"I just want to be me. And when I can, I will."

Doing it live.
Now I am sorry that I hit you all with some deep ass shit in that last paragraph. So as I said about duality, let's balance all that serious shit with some more poo poo fart jokes or something. I do have some updates about Ruined like in every post I make. As of right now I am finishing up the split with Palm Hands entitled "Every Bit Of It Is Fake." The subject matter on my side of the split is apostasy, animal cruelty, suicide and Final Fantasy 9. My dear friend Monte of Palm Hands fame will be releasing this split with me next week Friday the 28th at The Waffle Haus and I am hoping to have my new bass guitar by then. I have a feeling it will be a pretty relaxed atmosphere and us gloom kids kind of took over so I hope the out of town screamo dudes will get down on some gloom with us. Otherwise, I have been listening to "Siamese Dream" by Smashing Pumpkins an insane amount lately. It's incredible how you can hear a record a million times and yet every now and then it just speaks to you from an entirely new place and a revolution of appreciation pours out from within us. Sorry guys I have been pensive as fuck lately but in a really positive way. Fuck it, do it live! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Party Till You Gloom, Grandpa's Guitars, I Am So Out Of Tune With Me

Been there. 
Been a while since I have updated this thing. I have been pretty busy at home with my various hobbies and passions. You know: coprophilia, potato petting and dangerous winking. Those aside I have been working on music for Ruined's split with Palm Hands that I have mentioned over and over again and you are all about to puke from hearing about it again. Well get your purses open because here comes some Ruined talk. As of right now I have 6 songs, each of them written and recorded using an acoustic guitar that I acquired not long ago. I have wanted my own acoustic guitar ever since I was 15 and learned my first song "Rocky Raccoon." Took me 10 years to finally get one.  "But I being poor have only my dreams..."

Doing this split has been well outside my comfort zone. I love playing acoustic guitar but I have never been very good at writing vocals with acoustic style music. Which is so bizarre because so many people do it all over the world. Every coffee house open mic night has 27 shit-sharks doing that shit with no problems at all. I think it is difficult for me partly because of the respect I have for singer/songwriter style musicians. Jeff Tweedy, Jeff Mangum, Neil Young, Don Mclean, Simon and Garfunkel are all on just a whole different level of musicianship. I can't even begin to fuck with what they are shoveling. But I realized that even though I do not have the artisan ability of musicians like them, I don't really want to sound the way they do. So I ended up drawing most of my inspiration for this release from other masters of the macabre: Ulver, Mournful Congregation and Wolves in the Throne Room. Some of my favorite parts of their music is the acoustic breaks and the eerie vocal chanting. So if you end up listening to this release and thinking, "Wow, this fucker totally just ripped these guys off." Well, what can I say? You are probably right. This split was meant to be more so for shits and gigs and to have some fun with a dear old friend, so I don't plan to hype it too much or to play the songs live too often. But I will probably play one or two of them at the split release show that we have booked at the end of this month, February 28th at the Waffle Haus.

"The once harmonious strings that bind the universe,
Have been tuned to discord..."

Every damn day.
Lately I have felt a longing for simple moments. I was reading back on my journal a bit last night and on February 5th of 2012, Procession had played a couple of shows in Boston and New York and I was watching "Escape From New York" in Graham's apartment in New York and eating Odwalla bars that Mike had dumpstered days prior. I was waiting for the next cheap bus ride that could take me back to Michigan. I was at work yesterday and thought about a time I was at a Starbucks in Chicago with Richard and he was doing homework. I just sat and tried not to laugh at the ridiculous conversation that this group of old hippies were having about how if we just had more bike lanes the world would be a perfect place. I don't really have a point to this section, I guess I just miss being able to sit and read and just exist without having to worry about the realities of my economic and spiritual dilemmas. I think we all miss things like that but I need to get busy living. Should probably start by getting off of here and doing something productive.