Saturday, May 30, 2009

You left me for dead so far away, I replaced you with fear and shame. You'll be happy on the day I die. (Day 176)

The days are drawing even closer to the Trio show. I cannot wait. Today's song is "Stupid Kid" from my favorite album of all time, From Here To Infirmary. Talk about an anthem for every stupid time I fell in love with a girl.

So in a bit I'm heading up to Valley. I'll be looking for a job. It's at the point now where it's time that I got moving on to greener pastures. So much has changed this year, and the thing's not even small changes. Things I thought would never happen actually did. I need to sit down and make a list of them, too.

And it's time that I started getting out of my head so much. I realized that as much time as I spend on introspection, maybe I would've been better served (or was in a previous life) a philosopher during the times of Greece.

I wish I had a chance to go back in time, though. To the time when Kerouac and Burroughs were traversing the United States, and penning the penultimate. Penning the blueprints for those who'd never quite fit in to the fabric of society just right. That the idea of adventure was more alluring than ever playing it safe. That there really wasn't any compromising, just...doing it. I wish I could have been a part of that.

Well, I'm guys. Have a safe night!

Tomorrows post is gonna be sappy as fuck, so prepare.

-Until tomorrow.

I will keep you warm in Hell. (Day 175)

Today's Alkaline Trio lyric comes from their album Maybe I'll Catch Fire, though this version is from their live Halloween divid. The song is called, Madam Me, and it's pretty fun. It's not one of their outright best songs, but I feel it gets looked over too often.

Tonight's update is going to be really short. I'm exhausted, I haven't slept well recently. I mean, I never really sleep all that great, but I'm getting even less than I normally do. So I'm off to read a little bit, and watch some Simpsons.

Lately I've been kind of worrying myself. I can feel myself starting to like someone new, and to be honest I really don't want to do that. It's a catch-22 situation; I don't want to lose her in my life, but at the same time I feel guilty because I know I could never do a relationship again. It's been nearly two years, and to be truthful, that's fine by me.

But I feel guilty, like I'm leading her on, or something. Why does she have to be so fucking cute? It;s a goddamned conspiracy.

Well, I hope everyone had a great Friday! Stay safe, and have fun!

-Until tomorrow.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A poinsetta poison rain, traded true love for insult and injury (Day 174)

Today's lyric comes from Alkaline Trio's song Emma, from their album Good Mourning.

What a lot people don't know is that when I first heard the Alkaline Trio, I actually wasn't impressed. That's actually putting it lightly. I hated them. They used to get pushed on me all the time by this girl I was dating, and I always resisted. One day she put on Good Mourning, and for some reason, it hit my ears like a napalm bomb. Something clicked, and I couldn't get enough of them.

I know some people would say this blog is turning into a music review site. I'm somewhat disappointed if others are viewing it that way, because honestly I feel that music is such an important factor in my life that it's almost ridiculous that I wouldn't talk about it often.

Be that as it may, the reason why I'm going with the theme of the Alkaline Trio is because of the role they have actively played in my life.

When I like a band, I mean really like a band, I'm fiercely loyal to them. The Alkaline Trio are the biggest proof of that statement. Through every tragedy, every triumph in my life those records were never far from my stereo.

I hate when people get cheesy and say, "oh this band saved my life" or whatever. The truth is, they did more for me than just saved my life. They helped make it seem like life wasn't exactly great, but nothing was worth ending it over. When I discovered From Here To Infirmary, for the first time in my life I never actually felt like I was alone. Songs about drinking, girls, doing drugs, moving and...I mean everything else.

I really think if I ever have a kid that I'll give them a copy of that album for their fourteenth birthday. I really wish I'd had it when I was that age, things would have seemed a lot more clear. Or maybe they wouldn't have, but I really do wish I'd had it then.

When I was living in an apartment in Casa Grande with Richard (the updater yesterday) , he went on vacation to Hawaii and I wound up getting sloppy drunk with this girl I was seeing at the time. We put the vinyl version of Crimson on, and sat and listened to it. I'd been going through a lot of panic attacks, but every single time I hear something having to do with the Trio, I feel at ease and centered. I couldn't begin to tell you how many times they've made an appearance (or been the whole damned album) on drunken mixes between my friend Austin and I.

They've been such a saving grace for me.

It's true. Music can save lives, and I may be a perfect model for that.

How has music effected you?

-Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's been long time since I've been close to you, it's been a long time since I've been sad. (Day 173) [Guest Update]

Today's guest update is from a long time friend of mine, Richard. I've known him for years, and he's been a great guy. He's been kind enough to raise the quality of this blog, at least for one post. It's extremely personal, and I'm very greatful he was able to share something so close to him.

P.S: The song he chose by the Alkaline Trio (in keeping with this weeks theme) is called Jaked on Green Beers, and it can be found of their compilation album, Remains. It couldn't be more fitting.

-Aaron Hale.

Well for some of you [very few] it will be immediately obvious why I chose that particular lyric. Even more so because those of you particular enough to know the story behind this upcoming blog know the rest of the lyrics to the song. This song has another deep impact on me being the first Alkaline Trio song I ever heard.

Sometimes in life you find yourself surrounded by people, and you manage to become completely and utterly devoted to one of them. She's beautiful, she's smart, and god damn if she can't make you feel fucking great. This girl could get you to do just about anything; Scratch that. This girl could get you to do absolutely anything, no questions asked. Hell, she could even get you to reconsider your life plans on marriage and children.

Of course, being the whore that she is, she's going to hurt you deeply, but you don't believe that yet. Not yet, but soon. So you finally find out what a tramp this chick is, and manage to muster up the willpower to move forward- at least momentarily. Why is it that whenever someone hooks you- I mean really hooks you, you come running to their beckon call? I think it's absolutely ridiculous, but as far as shortcomings go, I am guilty of this as well.

You manage to patch things up for a while, and things go great, only to find out that skankwad still can't keep her legs together, and decided that she's going to smash you into a million pieces because of it. Fucking sucks. but you gather yourself up and move on- or try to, as the bitch drags you over hot coals for days before finally giving it an honest attempt at breaking it off. Don't ever try to be friends with someone like this. I know that you're going to want to. You're going to hope that at least you can still be friends, and maybe build it back into something- but you can't. Trust me, you can't. Just let the bitch change her number, you don't need it anyway, and get rid of all the ways she might be able to find you too.

I wish I could be there when you get hurt as bad as you've hurt me, and bitch, I hope this is goodbye.

-Until tomorrow.

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. (Day 172)

Today's lyric...lets be honest, if you don't know where it's from, you might not know what color the sky is. It's originally from Pink Floyd's 1973 album Wish You Were Here (song of the same name).

The thing is, I don't like Pink Floyd. I never really have, and I don't think I ever will. However, this song is so extraordinarily beautiful, touching on the hope for a friend who is slowly succumbing to mental's always hit close to home with me.

But the video today comes from Dan Andriano, the bassist and co-vocalist of my favorite band of all time, the Alkaline Trio. His voice is perfect for this song, and I really hope you agree. While you can't really see much, you hear his voice perfectly.

Dan is one of the most talented musicians out there today. His voice has a hint of Elvis Costello meets...something else I can't quite put my thumb on. But it's such an extraordinary voice.

For the next following week or so, I'll be putting up only Alkaline Trio lyrics for the posts. Next Tuesday I will hopefully be seeing them live, and I couldn't be more excited.

Dan Andriano though, he's been such a tremendous addition to Alkaline Trio, and my life as a whole. While I've always stated I tend to be more partial to Matt Skiba's songs and vocals, that in no way is meant to take anything away from him. His songwritting has only progressed, his songs have only become more anthemic over the years.

I really hope you enjoy this cover as much as I do. It means a whole hell of a lot to me. I hope if you aren't yet an Alkaline Trio song, this gives you incentive to check them out further.


-Until tomorrow.

Monday, May 25, 2009

One boy spoke up and said, "Preacher come on, eat your supper with us." (Day 171)

Happy Memorial Day.

Just take a minute, at least the Americans, to think that despite what your opinion is of the wars currently happening or how popular it is to write it off...there's still people in desert trenches fighting to stay alive. Do no forget that. That's what it boils down too, and whether these wars are about oil, or terror, or whatever...that's not quite the point, is it? Even if this, underneath it all, turns out to be a war about oil or power, be grateful that at the time men and women, sons and daughters, wife's and husband's, brothers and're best friends or worst enemies, put all of their lives aside to assure what they felt needed to be protected. Don't forget that for one minute.

We say the recession is so awful, yet we're out barbecuing, we still have amenities and luxuries afforded to us that many others do not have, and that came with the heavy price of nearly an entire generations worth of blood.

I hate the commercialization and overt idiot patriotism and stigma that comes with the typical American view. At least to me, when I think about what America means to me, I cannot look at the landscape with out imagining that on one fretful day they stormed the beaches of Normandy. Not for anyone's personal gain. Not for anyone's romanticized ideology of progression or pride. The world, not one country...the entire world (just imagine the actual weight of that) relied on Nations putting aside any differences they had, to help ensure that their generation and their generations lineage would be able to be free.

It's more to me, freedom I mean, than just a flag shirt and napkins made in Japan (Oh, the irony.) It's more than that, it's more than picnics and everything along with it. Don't get me wrong, we should celebrate with friends and family. I think out of all the options, this is the most appropriate given the depth of the reason why it is we all have a Monday off.

My father is old enough to have lived through World War Two. I realize that all soldiers past and present deserve to be viewed with admiration and reverence today (and any day, honestly) and that every war should be recognized. But in speaking of terms of the weight of today, World War 2 is the reason why we can even recognize all the rest in the first place.

But my father lived through World War 2. He wasn't quite old enough to have served, and when the Korean War rolled around, he wasn't medically able. His brothers and my mothers Uncle both served in the latter, though. Unfortunately, this was is referred to as the Unknown or Forgotten War often, given it's predecessor (World War 2) and it's successor (Vietnam). A lot of men died there, though, and it's still tragic. Leroy Van Verth, my friend who was stabbed to death nearly a year ago served in both of these wars, providing comfort to those in their last moments, while being shot at and bombs exploding. That to me is the mark of heroism. To be scared witless, and still marching forth despite whatever outcame may be. And to provide comfort to those dying, and still living with that stigma, and that blood that will never come off, no matter how long it's been since the red actually came's an amazing thing, to me, to think about.

I can't imagine having lived through that era of World War 2/Korean War. Growing up in a time frame in a pretty much burgeoning country that America still was (and still is, to an extent) with all the uncertainty you could muster. Somewhere across that big blue ocean was a man with a rigid pose, funny looking mustache, and every intention of implementing a Third Reich to last for thousands of years. With every intention of exterminating homosexuals, gypsies and Judaism as whole.

I don't believe in it much, but I truly feel that that time frame, that individual, if there is a God and things like good and evil are black and white, and therefore quite pertinent to existence, that that man was quite indeed evil. The full embodiment.

Think about how Adolf Hitler came to rise in prominence. World War One was still a very vivid memory for the entire world. Much of Europe was still in shambles, yet every once of the worlds anger after that particular conflict fell down upon Germany. They were given a debt, that even by today's standards would be impossible to pay off (nevermind the inflation since then) and were sentenced to a lifetime of guilt, shame and exodus from the world stage.

When someone can sling hope and prosperity to those desperate enough to listen, and if you can even make some kind of headway on that promise, at least for the moment, they'll do anything they can to follow and fight. In that respect, Hitler gave Germany a taste of their dignity back. Eventually even they saw him for what he truly was, but when you back something into the corner...Hell, even the most timid of animals will fight back.

I fear we're doing that today with Iraq and Afghanistan. With our implementation of torture, and now we're not calling it that anymore, but *wink wink*, and with Guantanamo Bay not existing anymore, but *wink wink* it does, just "someplace else" and the detainees being held for indefinite amounts of time...without trail, but *nudge nudge* look the other way, here's that change you were hoping for...I feel as though we're sowing the seeds for one of these Nations to pull off an act of tragedy and call to arms that which the world has yet to even imagine or see yet.

Today is about the memory of those dying on foreign soil, and soaking it with their blood and life force so that we may continue to build dreams upon our own. For their sacrifice, bravery, courage and ability to realize that at that moment in time they mattered more than they could ever imagine.

They say that the true mark of intelligence and maturity is being able to decipher where you stand in the following statement: "A foolish man willingly dies for what he believes in while a noble and wise man stays and fights for it." I don't know if that's even applicable to a realistic world. It takes a casualty count to secure the lives of others. That's tragic, but I also feel that in it's's nothing short of true.

Nobility might be the mark of someone who will fight, and who will willingly die for what he believes in. Not openly give up mind you, or go out with the idea of being a martyr, but rather putting themselves aside completely, and the outcome of themselves in the very end being a thought that's prevalent, but not determining in their actions.

I'm thankful. I truly am. I'm thankful I can make stupid decision, and ones that aren't so dumb. I'm grateful I can pursue whatever my heart desires, instead of that decision being made for me before I'm even born. I'm thankful I can live in a country that, despite how slowly it can come to make a change, will still do so eventually.

Today's lyrics come from the band Lucero. The song is called the War, and it's off of their album Nobody's Darlings. It's told from the perspective of his grandfather who fought in the war. The war that he eludes to is World War 2. He wrote the song after reading old letters from his grandfathers trunk.

I think it's the most honest take on war, period. From that perspective of someone who fought, who was scared, who was an average American boy at the time of something much greater than youth. So often we envision those going off to war as stoic, strong and able to shake things off, that don't bat an eyelash in the face of the repeated exploits of death. I think we forget that these were, for the most part, just kids. Barely out of High School, just kids. Children. Fighting in a conflict they might not even truly understand entirely, but having earned enough world knowledge at this point to know it was important.

I'll be posting the lyrics to the song. Take from them what you will, I know what I've taken from them.

Lucero - The War:

I got drafted at 19
Me and a bunch of boys from home.
January ’43, drove out to Pine Bluff and signed on
Went to basic south of Birmingham
Put me on West Coast bound train.
Spent three days out in San Diego
And they shipped me back East again.
Left a port out of New York
Slept for months in British rain
Tore it up down in London town
And they shipped me back out again.

The preacher said, “Boys, he who is killed tonight will dine with the Lord in Paradise.”
One boy spoke up, said “Preacher come on, eat your supper with us."

Never talk about those first days.
Lots of friends left behind.
But I made it all the way across France
And I fought at the Maginot line.
Rode a tank into Belgium
Like them better than the French.
Like my daddy, thirty years before
I did my time in a trench.

Lots of days there’s no water
But the liquor kept me warm.
The cellars were stocked to the ceiling with booze
So I carried a bottle with my gun.

The preacher said, “Boys, he who is killed tonight will dine with the Lord in Paradise.”
One boy spoke up said, “Preacher come on, eat your supper with us.”

Three times I made sergeant.
I’m not that kind of man
And pretty much just as quick as I could
I get busted back to private again.
Cause taken’ orders never suited me;
Giving them out was much worse.
I could not stand to get my friends killed
So I took care of myself first.
Now, I know that don’t sound right.
Don’t think too bad of me
Now it keeps me up nights
What I could have done differently.

The preacher said, “Boys, he who is killed tonight will dine with the Lord in Paradise.”
One boy spoke up said, “Preacher come on, eat your supper with us.”

I’d be no guest at the table of the Lord
His food was not to be mine.
‘Cause I cursed His name every chance that I could
And I reckon that’s why I’m still alive.

Enjoy today! Have fun, have some drinks, watch some sports, spend it with those you care about deeply, and enjoy every single solitary moment you can squeeze out of life as a whole. That's the best memorial anyone could ever pay tribute someone. It's great to be alive, and it's great to be free.

And to everyone who sacrificed, or who does now...thank you.

-Until tomorrow.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fight every fight like you can win; An iron fisted champion, An iron willed fuck up. (Day 170)

Today's lyric comes from Against Me! To me, they are the most exciting band going today, and in the videos posted live, you might get a sense of why.

I've been to a few of their shows, and I've always left something behind. Something that was ailing or worrying me. Something that was unhealthy. Yet somehow, someway at an Against Me! show it's a rock and roll revelation and salvation, ready to bathe your sweet sinners brow.

The song is Walking Is Still Honest. It comes off of, well it's on a lot of EP's and stuff, but it's perhaps more well known for being on Against Me's incendiary debut full length, Reinventing Axl Rose.

Before I moved to New York, Against Me came to Tucson, which is a bit of a stretch from where I live. Days before the show I blew my knee out, and still decided to go. It would be one of the last things I did for the foreseeable future in Arizona.

I'd never seen a crowd reaction like I did there in Tucson. I was covered in sweat; a strange combination of both my own, and hundreds of strangers. When Walking Is Still Honest came on, I climbed up on stage, and got to sing the full chorus. It might seem small and inconsequential, but those things to me, not only do they matter a great deal, but they make up the fabric of existence.

Being a chorus, a voice amongst hundreds of's such a bewildering thing if you ever stop to think about it for a moment. Just witness in these two videos. Chances are, most of these people have no idea whom the others are. Just a small group of them, and that's it. But they all know the words, they all sing from the depths of their very souls, they all put arms around one another, and for one brief moment in does not exist outside of the confines of that packed room in some town. Nothing else is happening. The earth isn't spinning, there's no bad situations, any of all pours out of the pores of strangers. The biggest and most impartial group therapy you will ever get. I guarantee it.

The other song is from the same album, Reinventing Axl Rose, and it's called We Laugh At Danger (And Break All the Rules.) If you want to talk about anthemic, this is it in spades baby.

I hope I never forget these moments. I truly do. It's been the one thing constant. Music, and feeling young and alive. Making the most of anything.

When I discovered punk rock music, I knew it was more sincere than what was happening on the radio dial. I didn't have many friends, and I never really fit in anywhere. I still feel like I don't quite often, yet...when those lights go off and those chords spring to life...forget about it. This is the party we came for.

I'll take this over seated concerts any day. There's a reason these are called shows: because there's more honesty. People are gonna fuck up on stage. People are gonna scream and shout as a chorus of one, and if someone falls down...someone is going to pick them back up and help dust them off...and then run like hell.

The interaction of mic sharing, or dancing with strangers, or just not worrying about your appearance twenty minutes into a blistering set...that's amazing.

You can't even hear the band singing. It isn't just their song anymore. It's everyone there in attendance. They own it just as equally now. Listen to how loud the crowd is on We Laugh At Danger...just listen. You barely, for a moment, can hear the singer. The rest is bled out by the exuberance of hundreds. That's the way it should be. That's the way life should be.

-Until tomorrow.