the slow unraveling

Another year, another day, another show, another blog. Wasn’t life exciting? Was it not full of wonder and whimsy? At one point. Now it more like cold hard clockwork. Automatic. Got life on cruise control.

Another year.. another month, another Red Sox season. Everyday is a lifetime and every morning I am reborn. Only I am cursed by yesterday, by memory. I reach out for a hand to hold to be trampled on. I open my heart for it to be welded shut.

Another day Another commercial, another bill, another headache.

Where are the fleeting moments of joy that make it all worthwhile?

Are they headed towards as we speak?

Or were they illusions the whole time…

Next time, I’ll blindly choose a topic and stick to that.

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Joe Zippo Memorial Show

As I mentioned briefly in the previous post, my band Stars Above will be playing the Joe Zippo Memorial Show. The show is on October 16th at St. Johns Cafeteria, across the street from the movie theatre in Salem. Heres a full listing of the bands that are playing

  • -The Jonee Earthquake Band
  • The McGunks
  • Pop Gun
  • Doom Buggies
  • With A Bullet
  • Black Barbie
  • Pay N’ Blood
  • Beantown Boozehounds
  • Matt Buchanan of Missionshifter
  • We Are Losers (ex-members of Zippo Raid)
  • Audrey + Eric of the 360’s

heres a flyer. print it out.. pass it around.

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I should give up writing all together.

I’m learning something about myself. I am compelled to write. It’s not that I want to write… I must write. Like Will Wheaton in “Stand By Me”, I’m often trying to convince myself that writing altogether is stupid… ‘a stupid waste of time’. For instance, I still have a journal from 1998 that I’ve somehow preserved through the years. I don’t think I own anything else that I owned in 1998..  I don’t even still own T-Shirts that I owned 4 years ago. I’m careless to say the least, but keeping journals that I’ve had over years has always been important to me. In 2000, I went digital. I created a Livejournal account that I maintained for 9 years. I deleted it….  thats right, I deleted 9 years worth of  pretty much constant journal entrys (in a Will Wheaton-esque pity party of course). The entries dated back to when I was 15 years old and in high school. I managed to save the first 2 years of the journal, but what I wouldn’t do to read those deleted entries… my oh my.

Some.. should just not write.. at all. I, should just not write at all.. I have never once read back anything I have written and it enjoyed it. Instead, I read back what I write and painfully agonize over every awkward sentence, every word that I forgot to put in, every that isn’t supposed to be there… every spelling mistake. I can’t concentrate on what I wan’t to write, because I’m too outwardly focused on how it’s going to be read… and that proves to be a metaphor for my actual life. Much like the word’s I speak, what I write is more like a censored, watered-down, “PC”  version of what I really THINK. This inability to truly emote anything emotional has been the basis of why I ever started to dabble in any form of self-expression, whether it be music or writing.

On another note, I’ve been up all night researching nothing and the sun is starting to dawn on a new day. I can hear the clanking of bottles as the can-collecting homeless men shuffle through the dumpster outside, the piercing shrieks of birds that I couldn’t identify, the squawking of sea-gulls (i can identify those) and I just turned my head away from the computer screen in time to see a brilliant sunset.

See…?   there I go. One minute I am writing about my inability to write, the next I’m spouting off about sunsets and sea-gulls.

The point is..  I think I’m depressed. Thing’s that any sane man would be over-joyed about I am dreading like it’s the coming apocalypse. For example, my band Stars Above has 4 shows coming up and a scheduled radio appearance. Don’t get excited now, it’s just “internet radio”. Not “real” radio, and 4 Shows might not seem like a lot, but after these 4 that will make it 9 shows in 2 months. That’s an influx of showage that I haven’t been used too in awhile. Now I’m fatter. Less cocky. Older. I should be happy about all the action my band is getting, but I’m not. It’s like a new responsibility now and my adolescent brain want’s to freak out and run away from responsibility (I know, It’s pathetic, but at least I’m self-aware, a trait I wish more people had). Anyways.. its called the Boston Local Music Show, and they want us there for who knows why. My only prior radio experience is when Pure Impact got interviewed on WFNX’s “New England Product Spotlight”. This will definitely be a different atmosphere and there will be much less pressure, but I’m feeling the heat nonetheless. Also we’re playing a memorial show for Joe Zippo*, which is going to be HUGE.

Well, gather up the cretins, freaks and throwaways because the methadone clinic is open…. LET’S HEARD EM IN

…this entry SORTA had something to do with music. so it can stay.

*Joe Zippo (Joe Kelly) was the lead singer of the infamous Boston-area punk band Zippo Raid. Immortalized forever in the Darkbuster song “I Hate The Unseen”, they played with basically every single punk band that ever played a show in the Boston area between the mid-t0-late 90’s into the late 2000’s. I personally knew Joe, having played with Zippo Raid dozens of times in Pure Impact, and thought he was one the coolest dudes ever. When I was just an 18 year old punk playing in dive-bars before I could legally drink, Joe always treated me with respect and kindness. I am honored to play at his memorial show!

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Now I’m Chicago.

the following was cut from my Captains log

captains log

1:09 AM, Rhode Island.

We have just made our first stop. we are pulled over in a Toys R Us parking lot, at a picnic table making sandwiches. We are going to Chicago; Lollapalooza, specifically. Spirits are high and things are going good so far. Emma and Mad are pushing each other around in shopping carts.. which is fucking classic. This is going to be a fun trip.

3:00 AM  We’re at a road stop in New Haven, CT. Everyones a little tired. Our next destination is the clinic in Allentown, PA. So… Yeah. Thats it.

3:30 AM. Still at the truck stop, just ate a big breakfast at mcdonalds. we’re getting ready to roll out and roll on. nigga boo. u know how i do…..  Yeah, I’m starting to  lose it.

Thursday, 9:54 AM.

We are stopped in the parking lot of a Rite Aid. We bough some frozen treats and candy bars. At the rate we’re going the GPS is telling us we’ll be at the hotel by 7:00 PM. We still have to drive clear through Ohio and Indiana. Tensions are a bit high. I’ve been driving for the past 5 hours and have gotten NO sleep. we’re taking lots of pictures and having lots of laughs though. I already got dosed in Allentown, PA. The clinic was really nice. It looked like someones house. Nice lush green lawns. It wasn’t sandwiched between a dump and a sewage treatment facility like the one I go to. Anyway we are just here at the parking lot having Wisespride and crackers and whatnot. About to hit the road again. I really wan’t to hit up the ROck n ROll HOF on the way back, but we’ll see. I’m just hoping for good times. Hoping everyone can get along and love each other, at least just for these few days together. I have nothing more to say. Captains Log, out.

11:20 AM

First bummer of the trip. I left my wallet at that Rite Aid we were at. Crying, bitching and moaning ensued. I’m so tired; I want to cry. I feel like they all hate me now. I clearly ruined the trip. i hope my moneys still in the wallet……..

<backtracked about a half hour, wallet was at the Rite-Aid. In fact they put it in a safe so nothing could happen to it. money was in it.  no big deal. nice people in PA.>

Thursday, 1:20 PM.

So… what the fuck. Girls cant drive. Thats just fact. for real. fact. all these other people i’m with have already slept, albeit minute amounts of sleep, but nonetheless, i am the only one to have not nodded out, i should drive. anyway we’re sitting here at a rest-stop that features a Sbarro and other stuff. I’m siting at a table thats kind of starbucks esque. In fact there is a Starbucks here. I plan on getting a coffee. I’m anxious. I’ve been eating Ativan and smoking weed but im still a litle uptight. We’re almost to Ohio. God just let Ohio be coming. UGH. I want internet. I want to see where the nearest Steak and Shake is. I want this bull shit to end. I want to have fun. I am having fun. I am…. I’m at rest-stop in western PA.  gotta go.

4:17. PM. THursday

the driving is endless. i don’t know how why we’ve made it this far.  people are grinding gears and we need some fucking SPACE already. WE’re about to go to Steak And Shake. Iiiiggghhh… could be worse, though. my thoughts on steak and shake up next

8:21 (our time), 6:21 Chicago time.

We just realized that we lost, or gained, however your looking at it, hours. The GPS tells us we’ll be there by 12:00 AM. but really we’ll be there by 10 PM. Tensions were high but now that we are seeing signs for Chicago we are in better spirits. Andrew wont stop yapping about money and who’s going to pay for what. i just want to get to the fucking hotel AND SLEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!! you have no idea. I really didn’t know what i was in for. really… didn’t. In retrospect, Steak And Shake wasn’t that great…. :l

Saturday, 3:02 AM

Ok. So today was absolutely amazing. I freaked out last night but everything is fine now.  I got to see Wavves and they fucking kicked ass. I got to meet them and get there autographs as well and I gave them a copy of my demo. At first the guy went to sign it, but i was like “No man, thats for you guys, thats yours”. They actually seemed pretty grateful. They were cool dudes. We also saw Devo, Jimmy Cliff and the Strokes. On top of the molly i took, I was able to score some mushrooms, LSD, and weed. so far so good.

tommorow we got Against Me, Green Day, Social D, MGMT.. lots of others. gonna be a craaaazzy.

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Gone, forgotten, Begotten.

Have you ever come across a work of art that just completely changes the way you are?. Wether it be a poem, a movie, a song,  or a painting? and after witnessing it you’re never the same? Like the first time reading “On The Road”. Or the first time I saw Taxi Driver, the first time I laid eyes on Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights”. The kind of thing that as soon as you experience it you are entranced, enveloped by it. Something so powerful that it alone alters your psyche forever. You must know everything about it’s origins. Every nuance and detail is carefully examined and absorbed. Thing’s that move us, inspire us. Make us grow. They only come around every so often, and one of these things came to me just recently. It is a 1991 movie called “Begotten.” It supposedly deals with the Biblical ideology of the Creation. The movie begins with an eerie run down cottage in the middle of the woods. The only sounds are that of crickets and a disturbing gurgling, grunting sound. We are then berated with an image of a man wrapped in bandages sitting in a chair disemboweling himself. The movie is in black and white and was pain-stakingly altered to make it appear as if it’s 100 years old. Let me just say that I’ve seen the Faces of Death movies, I’ve seen Gummo, Un Chien Andalou, Eraserhead, Clockwork Orange…. that’s all child’s play compared to Begotten. It is hand’s down the most visually disturbing, horrifying, intense thing I ever seen on film. Imagine the movie from the “The Ring” and the music video for Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” and you still aren’t even a 5th of the way towards the disturbing imagery of Begotten. The film was the mastermind of creator E. Elias Merhige, who was inspired to create the film after a near-death experience in which he was in a horrible car crash. Not a tough pill to swallow considering the amount of human suffering this movie depicts.

To be honest, I still haven’t watched the whole thing. I can only watch maybe 5 minutes at a time because I start to panic. My girlfriend screamed just watching the trailer. This one is a must for anyone who is a fan of disturbing movies.

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The youth of today has some serious problems. I am only 24 but i feel there is a huge generation gap between me and the younger kids of today. Back in my day the “individual” existed. We did things like make zines and put on shows at churches, Park and Rec centers, schools, parking lots, whatever. Anywhere we could find a place to play, we played. We did other cool stuff too. Me and my friends created a zine called “Suburban Exposure” that had featured poetry, drawings, rants and just a bunch of stuff we thought of. We all got suspended for handing them out at school. Another time we were supposed to have a popular local punk band play at the Park and Rec center with my then Misfits cover band, but it was canceled because someone complained of the “inappropriate” flyers we put up. What was so inappropriate to get our show canceled you might ask? “Fuck Tennis”. One of the flyers said “Fuck Tennis”. Show Canceled. We were oppressed, but we KNEW  we were oppressed, and we FOUGHT BACK. I hardly see young kids playing music at all nowadays. When I go into downtown Marblehead I see one kid walking around in 20 different bodys. EVERYONE LOOKS THE SAME. Back in my day we had punks, we had goths, we had metal heads, we had grungey kids, we had SKIN HEADS. Fuck If I saw a skin head in Marblehead today I would probably have about 10 heart attacks. The youth today has no culture nor does it really attempt to have any identity.  Their all cookie cutter clones. Two “looks” exist in Marblehead in the present age. One is the shaggy haired, baseball cap wearing skater look. The other is the preppy, rich kid look. In my day we didn’t concentrate on looking exactly alike. We wore what we wore and we were all into our own thing. We strived to build a scene. What do these kids do today? text, text, text and go online. Seriously.  I feel extremely fortunate to have just missed the whole internet boom. Yes, we had the internet in my day, but it was dial-up. It was unreliable and if you picked up the phone it would disconnect you. Nor did it have half the shit it has now. No facebook, no Myspace, no Youtube..  you get the point. Nor was it really common for every kid to have a cell phone. Hell, I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 18. Something like that is unthinkable to a 14 year old kid these days. So to all the youngsters, get off your computers, stop texting, TALK to each other and do something creative with yourselves. Don’t just waste your life texting and getting drunk at the beach. It’s sad to see how much things have changed… I swear it was a helluva lot different in my day….. and that was only 10 years ago.

The irony…? I am bitching about all of this on an online blog.

the end.

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Lollapalooza 2010… here i come.

It is now confirmed. I am going to Lollapalooza 2010 in Chicago, IL. Formally a traveling musical festival back in the 90’s, the annual event is now held every August at Grant Park, amongst a beautiful skyline of the city. Words can not express my excitement.. but I’ll try anyhow.

First, theres the headliners.

Green Day-  Obviously, this is huge for me. For those who do not know, Green Day basically got me into music. If I hadn’t found Green Day, I wouldn’t have found The Ramones, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, etc. The only tape I had owned before Green Day was a Boyz to Men tape I got at a garage sale. Keep in mind I was also 10. When Green Day came out with Basket Case, I can honestly say it changed my life. The video would come on MTV and I would be in my basement watching it with my sister, and we would “slam dance” and basically just go ape shit every time it came on. My brother bought a copy of Dookie, and that was that. From that point on I was forever in love with music. In middle school I sat at the “Green Day” table… anyone who did not like Green Day could not sit there. I bought a copy of 1039/Smoothed out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk and they were the Old Testament and New Testament to me. I knew that Billie Joe had written these songs not just about me, but FOR me. We were metaphysically linked. I have known Billie Joe telepathically all my life. When Green Day came out with American Idiot, I thought I was the Jesus of Suburbia, I was St. Jimmy. A suicide commando and Edgar Allen Poe. Up until that point, I had bought every Green Day release the DAY it came out. I remember going to the nearby Coconut’s after school to get “Warning”. I remember being in bed listening to the radio and hearing “Hitchin’ a Ride” before Insomniac came out. I remember all these moments vividly. I have only seen Green Day twice in my life. Once when I was 13, at WBCN’s River Rave. Nimrod has just come out. Tre’ lit his drums on fire at the end. The second time was at Warped Tour when I was 16. It was about 100 degree’s out and I had bought all these shirts. I had nowhere to put them so I wore them. Green Day came on and everyone rushed the stage. I started puking “blood” (it was actually fruit punch Jones’ soda, but everyone thought it was blood). I was hoisted up by this incredibly strong black guy and was brought back to the medical tent. It was quite the experience….

ANYWAY! more headliners…

the Strokes- When I was in High School, this girl I liked told me to download a song called “Last Night” by some band called the Strokes. I obliged, mostly to impress her, but honestly I was not too impressed with what I heard. Later on, I bought there debut album “Is this it?”. That made an impression. From the opening riff  I was hooked. These guys were different. Once in awhile a band has to come along and revive my faith in music, and the Strokes did that for me. I probably listened to that album more than any other album in high school. I have never seen the Strokes live, so to see them this year at Lollapalooza will just simply be amazing. CANT FUCKING WAIT!

Social Distortion-  Mike Ness was born in my hometown of Lynn, MA. Perhaps that is why I have always thought of him as a kindred spirit. I first heard Social D on WFNX late at night. They played Story Of My Life and I remember thinking “Wow this is awesome… I got to find out these guys are!”. Although admittedly in my lifetime I have only owned Social D’s self-titled album and “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell”. They have a pretty lengthy discography and not all of it is awesome. I love their old stuff. This is another band that I probably should have seen in my lifetime yet for some reason or other never got to.

Devo- It took me awhile to appreciate Devo. Most people just equate Devo with “Whip-It”. Rightfully so. It was their only hit single. I will admit it right here and right now, I’m not HUGE into Devo… but what I like of them I like a lot. Songs like “Girl U Want”, “Mongoloid”, “The Day My Baby Gave Me A Suprise”  have been on virtually every epic playlist I’ve made in the past 5 years.

Soundgarden-  Eh. I owned a Soundgarden album back in Middle School. I think I listened to it twice. Black Hole Sun was a freaky video… They had a lot of hits….. so….. It’ll be cool…  I guess.

Lady Gaga-…… lady WHO?

MGMT-  One of the newer bands I’ve grown to like. Not love. But I do like them. When they came out a few years they were  this very unique psychedelic electro-pop band with punk attitude. Songs like “Kids”, “Time To Pretend” and “Electric Feel” were all heavily played on WFNX and I’m guessing every other alternative rock station across the country. They were also featured in a lot of commercials. I’m really starting to hate this new fad of indie bands breaking through to the mainstream via commercials. Anyway, MGMT has recently taken a more Syd Barrett-esque approach to their music, with more guitars, more “real” instruments I guess you could say. When I saw them on SNL this past winter they seemed to be a completely different band. Their latest singles “Brian Eno” and “Flash Delirium” didn’t really seem to catch on as there other stuff, but I like just the same. Really excited to see these guys live.

Against Me!- Another one of my all-time favorite bands. I went to see Against Me! in Rhode Island a few years ago with my girlfriend and a few of my friends. It was basically a nightmare. I was smoking crack the whole way there and we didn’t get any alcohol and the time we got there I was geeked out and miserable. Poor planning, bad vibes and negative energy turned this trip into an awful experience. Which is too bad, because I love Against Me. Hopefully this time around it will go a whole lot smoother…..

Blues Traveller-  …..are you fucking serious? How the fuck did Blues Traveller get on the bill?? They haven’t been relevant in like 15 years.

Jimmy Cliff- Oh hell yes. I know like 2 songs of his but I wan’t to be there when 1000 people all light up joints and groove out to Sitting In Limbo.

OK. so those are the bands that I love or at least like and that are playing Lollapalooza. So what about the other 100 or so bands that are playing? Well, most of them I hadn’t heard, some of them I have. Here’s the bands that are playing that I either don’t know too much about or don’t really care for.

Spoon-  Their not bad. I’m really sick that song “Underdog” though. I’ve heard a few of there songs and there kinda catchy. I guess there just not really my thing though, I’ll probably skip there set.

Phoenix- They do that song that is on every commercial ever. You would know it if you heard it. They also do that song Like a Rhi Like a Rhi-no… Not Easily Offended…. blah blah blah. Annoying. Their from France. I will definitely be skipping these guys.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnectic Zero’s-  If you haven’t heard their song “Home” then you’re probably deaf or from Utah. This song is EVERYWHERE. My girlfriend also happens to be obsessed with it, so I’m guessing that i will DEFINITELY be seeing these guys.

Mumford and Sons-  They do that song “Little Lion Man”. It’s all over FNX. Meh.

Gogol Bordello- The lead singer was the inspiration for the character “Eugene” in the movie WRISTCUTTERS. They play what they call “Gyspie Punk”. They’re kind of weird, but kind of cool. I may check these guys out.

Arcade Fire- No Thanks.

Metric-  Canadian Indie Rock. I have only heard 2 songs by Metric, but I LOVE both. “Help I’m alive” is a great tune. I love the lead singers voice. I will most certainly be seeing these guys.

So I downloaded a bunch of songs for my Lollapalooza 2010 playlist. I wanted to hear at least 2 songs by every band that’s playing. Most of the bands I wasn’t too impressed with or haven’t got a chance to listen to. One band, however, I listened too and fell in love with. I immediately downloaded everything I could find by them and looked up any information I could get by them…. they are called Wavves.

Wavves is basically one guy and his drummer. They play weird, very lo-fi surf/punk songs. They are hard to describe. Some might have difficulty listening to some of their songs because some songs are extremely lo-fi. They are from California and their myspace has a drawing of a cat smoking a joint. They are just a very quirky, cool California band doing their own thing. Very unique. I must recommend these guys. They are an acquired taste. I will DEFINITELY be checking out there set at Lollapalooza.

So thats my Lollapalooza 2010 run down. This will my first “real” music festival. I mean, one that is more than just a day long. Just under 3 weeks and counting. WOOWEE!!

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