Friday, January 30, 2015

Demon Finale, Reaching Around, Déjà Vu And Fuck You Too

If only...
As often times happen, I don't really have a direction with this again today. I am hungry, out of coffee and my desk is brimming with shit. I am also feeling kind of anxious and overwhelmed. There is so much that I WANT to do and only so much that I CAN do. I suppose that is a pretty typical situation people find themselves in but it honks big time. All week I toil and strive in anticipation of having a day off and when I finally do I spend it whining on here and watching Netflix. The first season of Diablo 3 ends in a few days to so I need to level cap my Demonhunter on there if I want the exclusive trans-mogs. Shit, I guess I actually have a lot to get done today so I should probably make this quick.

This just felt right. 
Recently I have had a small internal conflict. I have been feeling a pull to become more involved in my local music scene. Because realistically, I am pretty much one of those people who complains about how shitty things are and then does absolutely Jack-shit about it. That being said, it is difficult to promote change within a scene when: A. You do not posses any resources within that scene to "demand" change, (vis-à-vis you do not own a tangible space where events could take place or have the social currency to draw in favors from your community; meaning you're not "cool" enough to be paid attention to.) B. You have very little interest in the interests of others that conflict or pale in your opinion to your own agenda. Speaking for myself, I am a misanthrope plain and simple. I just flat out do not put importance on what most people are passionate about. There are exceptions of course. For example: Music. I think music is great and I know a lot of other people feel the same way in my general vicinity. That being said, music is very cultural. Even within the small scene we have in Grand Rapids, it is pretty much like anywhere else. It's fragmented and essentially if you're not doing the "thing" that everyone is digging at the time then your shit out of luck and jolly well fucked. None of what I am saying is news to anyone, most people would either agree or at least relate to what I'm saying in this community and abroad. But let's go back 4 years. When I first moved into the city limits of Grand Rapids and started going to shows a lot more often there was a great sense of comradery. I could go over to the house show of punks, art kids, stoners, metalheads, or twinkly emo's and felt no borders. People moved, venues closed and shit got fucky. It happens. But having experienced it once in my life I have no doubt that music can be fun again in this city. I don't have the answers on how to attain this, and I have a feeling the people calling the shots right now are just as full of shit as any other person on the planet. So for myself this is a difficult path to take. I feel that it is only fair to contribute to a scene that has/(hopefully will) support my own music and endeavors. But I also feel that myself and other loser fuckheads who happen to live here will be ignored. Realistically not everyone is going to get what they want and in fact it will be far from what a good chunk of people will want. The fleeting and negligible topics will most likely take precedence and the rest will go down the shitter. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't at least try to change things even if it is futile. All I can say is God Hates Us All and we should shoot from the belt with that in mind. That made no sense. Fuck it, do it live.

"Got no good plans but a good idea, 
Let's put this town in my rearview mirror. 
Yeah, I got enemies, (fuck em') but they don't know. 
They won't get no glory on that side of the hole."

A feeling I know all too well.
On this same subject, I have to vent about something. For the purpose of anonymity I am going to be mildly vague so I apologize if the following seems confusing. But I have always done my best not to be someone who just shits all over everything out of anger and I want to be reasonable. This is something that has bothered me for a long time, but moments ago another example of it just came to light. I would like to preface this by saying that I know that everything creative has already been done and no idea is ever truly original anymore. I don't consider myself to be a creator of great thoughts but perhaps I maybe rejuvenate things that better people than myself developed long ago. But I want to talk a minute about plagiarism. Over the last few years I have had a couple of ideas that I shared with fellow musicians and I got burned. I was just talking last night about a song title that Ruined has that was originally called a different name. I had to change it because when I shared a rough demo version with another musician, about two months later they released an album with that same song title on it. It sounded nothing like my song and as I said I know that I don't make these words up in my room when I am not slaying demons or looking up pedal reviews. But alas I would look like a turd if I then released that same song titled as is especially since we were vaguely within that same genre of music. I would look like the fraud, despite the fact that we both would know I would not be. And it has happened yet again. But as I was talking about above, I am not cool. I am not a voice to be considerate of. If it's my uncool word against someone's cool word then I am fucked and have to deal with it. I am sick of it, and people wonder why I hate everyone. I'm done with it. Stay gloomy and fuck everyone.

P.S. I wrote the above segment several hours ago when I was feeling a sense of enmity. Since then the situation has been for the most part resolved and I have let the majority of my anger go. But I consider writing both a hobby and a catharsis so I decided to leave it the way it was not out of passive aggression but simply as a documentation of a moment in time. God Hates Us All. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Charley Horse Of Course Of Course, Palate Cleansing, I'm Blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Die

Oh the pain...
Woke up from a Charley Horse today. It is astonishing how much those fucking hurt. One minute I was having a dream about shoveling snow from my dad's driveway, (which is half a mile long and dirt, I know I have the best dreams,) and the next minute I am writhing in agony in my own bed flailing around like a dolphin on the deck of a "dolphin safe" fishing vessel. After my flesh has been torn and bones broken by the mechanization below deck I am thrown back to sea because hey, it's still "dolphin safe" cause they didn't kill me they just didn't give me the option to survive. Call me "Survival Impaired!"  Anyways, Charley Horse's fucking hurt I hate them. Eventually I got up and limped downstairs where my french press has been broken for weeks now so I have the option between the Diatomaceous Earth known as "instant coffee" or I can make a lab experiment out of my coffee making experience and with a little Conklin ingenuity make some coffee with the good coffee I have. With a series of strainers and colanders I am able to have a very grainy cup of coffee that has somehow become room temperature during this entire process. Have I mentioned lately that God Hates Us All?

A lot of recipes call for "dice size pieces."
I like that analogy.
I have also been cooking a lot more at home. When you spend most of your days cooking for office peons you get kind of burnt out by the time you get home. But it has been nice always having something to eat around the house. Been keeping the pantry stocked and cooking up some pretty damn tasty shit most days. But last night I made a pad thai that was absolute horse shit. It was just sour and shitty and it really fell short. And yet I kept eating it cause it took me 45 minutes to make and I was going to be pissed if it went to waste. It's interesting how you can fill your stomach with food, even if it is bland and shitty and yet you still don't feel satisfied. It's interesting how much taste and the soul of food plays a role in our subsistence. When I was in Europe I surprisingly ate very well and everything we ate was made vegan and usually fresh right before our eyes. Can't stress this enough, those people have courtesy down to a fucking science. But this one night we were playing in Bulgaria I believe and we were playing this weird yuppie bar with big screen TV's and shit. And the promoter's girlfriend brought us food and it was literally white rice with a bag of frozen peas/carrots mixed in. Not a grain of salt nor spice. Devoid of a drop of oil or vinegar. They were so uncertain of what was vegan that they gave us essentially tree bark. Of course I didn't complain and ate a giant heaping bowl since I hadn't eaten in 14 hours but when I was done I felt like I had eaten a 6-pack of cotton socks. Some days I wish I could just take a pill that gave me all the nutrients I needed for the day and made me feel full too. But I also understand the psychological importance of eating delicious food and I am grateful that I have at least a decent grasp of making good vegan food. I have to make non-vegan food all the time at work and I get no solace when someone compliments me on it cause realistically it is still a carcass of pathogen infested shit that was once a sentient being that had a family. Yeah yeah yeah I know, you're tuning out cause I am being a vegan asshole. Cut me a break though, when you're vegan and you get to be elbow deep in corpses and pasteurized pustule every day you have to vent once in a while. I appreciate all my Carnie friends for letting me be a vegan prick once in a while. Because really none of this matters since we're all going to die and all hope is gone. Fuck yeah!

Had to do it. Listen to Joaquin Phoenix.
He is wise beyond his years. Get your cry on.

Speaking of cooking, I have a character in Sims 4 who is in the culinary career track and I should probably bring my attention to their needs. Oh yeah I got the Sims 4 earlier this week. I have always loved the Sims series, I was obsessed with the first installment and also the Sims 2. Never got into the third one though I heard it honked real hard. But 4 is pretty ding dangly sweet. But as I often do I will leave you with a small music update. As of right now, Ruined is officially booked for studio time in mid-February. We are going to be recording three songs, two of which are previously released songs that I recorded by myself that will be used as a demo to send out for exposure and shit. The third song will be on a split that is brand new and if I hit the mark right will make everyone puke blood and then cry acid tears into the puddle of blood puke. So yeah, look forward to that. Till then, stay gloomy.     

Thursday, January 15, 2015

P.S.3. H the B, You Got Gaze In My Shoe-Butter!, Finish Them

Playing Tony Hawk on New Years.
This is my demon face.
I got a PS3 the other week and believe it or not I have been getting out of my room a lot lately. Out of the frying pan and into the dog smelling living room one might say. I once again have been really get back in touch with my nerd roots. Though I consider myself a PC gamer till the day I die, (Note to self: "True Till CPU" throat tattoo? Mull over this more later...) I do enjoy reclaiming my con-"soul" if you will. I used to play console when I was a wee lad back in the potato fields of Conklin long before I had a computer of my own. First we got a Sega Genesis, then a Playstation, then a Playstation 2 and that's pretty much where I have been sitting for oh I don't know the last 13 years or so. Despite a new shinier PS4 being on the market now, I am thrilled to finally have a PS3 of my own. And I am sure that by the time I get burnt out on the PS3 games I have, the PS5 will by coming out making the egregious price of the PS4 fall from it's pinnacle into the depths of lower middle class affordability. Like insatiable demons we will claw ravenously at it's molded carapace and absorb it's visceral power. Until then, we shall lie in wait at the edge of the woods before the gilded fortress of yuppie larvae who's parent's can afford next-gen systems.

Game without shame.

This sums up our current
musical environment.
I got into a conversation yesterday about music. More specifically about the "shoegaze" revival that appears to be happening/has been happening the last few years. I noticed a few people in my feed on my various social networking sites complaining about having less shoegaze bands in the coming year. In a lot of ways I agree with them and like any genre of music it all comes back every few years as each wave of bands who were inspired by the last wave come washing over us all as a raging unstoppable plague. I am more interested in this because I have been playing in shoegaze bands since I was 18 years old. I would say only one of them was a more typical vision of what shoegaze is, (we were called Procession, check it out HERE if you are unfamiliar.) And I have no doubt that had we continued to carry the shoegaze flag into battle years ago we would probably be at least a semi-recognizable band right now. We would probably be touring regularly with many of the typical shoegaze bands you all here about these days. And who knows, that could still come to fruition some day but for now that seems unlikely. But I have been hugely influenced by shoegaze and I think that is apparent in the music I write. So I don't really want to feel guilty or like a poser for pulling some shoegaze out of my toolbox from time to time especially since I have been sharpening my shoegaze blade for almost a decade now. That being said, I think the label shoegaze and indeed many music taxonomies cover a very broad and at times vague description of what a band sounds like. And to anyone who hates "Labels" and think their "Music transcends any Earthly characterization" then you can just blow it out your ass. Personally I love hearing what people think a band "is." The way a person experiences a piece of music is completely unique to that person and that moment in time. Where this rant is heading is essentially to say that though I have a deep appreciation of shoegaze music I think each person who loves it needs to take that passion and mold it into something unique in their own music. RUINED for example, I call us a gloomgaze band because to me that sums it up in a vague way that other people can take or leave. It's also a classification that doesn't have a strong tangible interpretation yet. But when I use hashtags or whatever the fuck those things are with things like #shoegaze, #gloomgaze, #bleak metal, etc. I am using them the way they should be used, an ambiguous umbrella terminology that people who have little, some or a lot of musical experience can interpret and make a judgement call on whether we are worth listening to or caring about. All in all, my point people need to worry less about what these labels mean and take them in stride. But believe me, I am sick of hearing about it too. Most modern bands called shoegaze are garbage and over embellished turds. And so if you think I'm a poser calling my band shoegaze I'll understand that. And if I sit in your lap and shit on you don't take it personal. God hates us all.

Maybe he wouldn't be selfish...
As always I am burnt out again. I have no good ending to this and I just want to go master fatalities in Mortal Kombat. But if Mortal Kombat was real, who would you want to be? I feel like you can tell a lot about a person depending on the character they would want to be in Mortal Kombat. Like if a guy would want to be Sub-Zero they might be a selfish lover. And if they want to be Scorpion that person would be so needy and overbearing constantly wanting you to "GET OVER HERE!!!!" I don't know who I would be, I like Kenshi a lot though. It would not be very cool to be blind but having telekinetic powers would be cool. And his martial arts style is Tai Chi so you know he is probably a nice well rounded person. I don't know, something to think about when you are going to bed tonight. Don't stay up too late though, Shao Kahn isn't going to defeat himself. I am really coo. Stay gloomy. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

100 Shit Nuggets, Won By Walking, Party Like It's...

This was me two years ago.
My shirt says "Animal Liberation" and
I was trying to liberate a lion from a statue.
I was really coo.
Believe it or not this is my 100th post that I have made to this blog. It has been a little over 2 years of rants and trivial observations. Hard to believe I had that much to say especially since little has changed in my life since I began this blog. I still for the most part am either at work or sitting in my room escaping through RPG's or practicing bass. Which if anything that is one of the biggest progressions I have made in my life. I have explored many of the various methods of bass technique and I am glad I never settled onto any one specific specialization. Chronologically I have been in all kinds of bands whose genres are included but not limited to: nu metal, funk metal, noise rock, post-punk, post-rock, post-metal, dark shoegaze, indie-pop shoegaze, power violence, hardcore, bleak metal, drone and all other musical taxonomies that no one knows what the fuck they mean. Though I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience from playing all these different styles they all accumulated to develop my own brand of "mastery" if you could call it such a thing. But writing in this blog has also been a developmental process for me. Though I don't consider writing a passion, I would say it is a hobby of mine that I enjoy. I also find it to be a catharsis within the symbiotic relationship I have with expression and music/writing. I hope that most of you have that elemental aspect of your life that makes it worthwhile. If not, seek it out at all costs. Be a broke asshole like me and whine on the internet every week. It's really coo.

Words to live by.
On the subject of whining and expression, I was reading some Friedrich Nietzsche the other day as every misanthrope does. But I read an interesting segment of his work titled "Homer's Contest" that I would like to extrapolate upon. One of the things I love about Nietzsche is that he is really fun to read and is seldom boring. There is a charm to his writing that few philosophers, (let alone writers,) can emulate with such allure. But often times he will generalize an entire culture or race of people by using an interesting perspective such as, "So far no one has had enough courage and intelligence to reveal me to my dear Germans." To me, this was his way of primarily grouping the philosophers and leading thinkers in these regions more so than making a generalization about the average person on the street. Which as a philosopher/thinker (and a German) it was important that he divorce himself from that identity in order to make his claims and observations seem relevant. Now stay with me here, I will try not to fill your eyes with scholarly feces that will infect your ocular cavity until you develop two symmetrical anus' and you from now on poop out of you face orifices. But in "Homer's Contest" Nietzsche talks about the Greeks and their ancient theologies. How in ancient times Greek culture was seen as the pinnacle of humanity that all other compare themselves to. I won't blab on and on about all the different facets of this piece, but one of the most interesting points he made was that Greeks saw life as a contest. Whether it was war, athletics or even art and expression. It is easy to see the contest in war and athletics but I never really thought about the reason a human would engage in art would be out of contest with others. I have certainly seen some real turd sandwiches walking around who think that they can shit onto a canvas and that makes them an artist. I see the dominate ego at work when I see those types of people. And the more I expound on this and my own culture of musicianship I do find myself more and more seeing most musicians as apocryphal. Though I see expression as an internal spurring and fluid response to the ethereal and intangible, I do see how many people do the right things for the wrong reasons. And the worst part of all of this is I know that many people have so much they want to express and feel that crushing desire to unleash their own potential but they have no ability or pathway to make it happen.  They have no musical or artistic background and the odds are stacked against them to acquire the skills needed to accomplish any ground in the matter. I am so grateful that I spent my teen years honing my own skills instead of engaging in fleeting social dogma. My final point with this is I guess we all need to constantly challenge our own egos. It's whisper is seldom beneficial or encouraging.  Jealousy, envy and hatred are it's weapons and we must disarm ourselves of these tools before they destroy us. Nietzsche uses the example of Miltiades; so obsessed with contest and fame he becomes a vengeful spirit against himself. "To satisfy this craving he misuses fame, state property and civic honor--and dishonors himself...An ignominious death sets its seal on his brilliant heroic career and darkens it for all posterity. The envy of the heavenly powers seized him. And this divine envy is inflamed when it beholds a human being without rival, unopposed, on a solitary peak of fame. Only the gods are beside him now--and therefore they are against him. They seduce him to a deed of hybris, and under it he collapses."

Always relevant.

Keep the faith.
Once again, I ranted for WAY TOO FUCKING LONG!!!! Holy fuck I am so sorry about that. Every time I sit down to do this I tell myself, "Zach, no one gives a fuck. Just make a couple of poo poo jokes and then get the fuck off and play Sim City." Sadly I get pensive and all the people around me do their best to accommodate my rants but they can only handle so much. I salute them for their service and they hold a high honor in my maggot infested heart. Speaking of the maggot army, let me just hit you all with a small Ruined update and then I will finally fuck off. I talk about our plans a lot on here but believe it or not they change drastically almost on a weekly basis. This is due to financially instability, opportunity knocks and of course the fact that I am an impulsive idiot. So this is the maggot game plan as it stands right now. We are saving a little bit of money to hit a studio sometime in February, March at the latest. We are going to record three songs, two of which will end up on a most likely unreleased demo that we plan to send to labels. The third song will be on a split with one of my ole git pals from jolly ole England named Dean and his project KNIFEDOUTOFEXISTENCE. We are hoping to make this a 7 inch hence the search for a label cause vinyl is not fucking cheap. Other than that of course we are still waiting to get tax return money and then buy a van and finally envelop the land in gloom. Rivers will overflow with the tears of the innocent and it will snow sadness forever and ever till the end of time. You know that ole chestnut. Until then, stay gloomy.