Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hey, I Know You...

In the last couple of months, I've had some experiences that have really made me think about the activities I took part in during my late teens and early 20s that I did for me, because they were things that I wanted to do and things that I thought should exist. These experiences, these moments... they were similar to a degree, and they've made me stop and consider the impact that a person can have and lasting impressions that we make on others.

The most recent was this past evening. I went to a small show at an art space. I had to leave for a little while to pick up my partner from work. On the way out it was suggested to me ny the promoter that I could grab one of my homemade instruments on the way back and join in a jam session upon my return. So, when I got back, a few of us were talking outside and introductions were made. One of the gentlemen that I was introduced to recognized me from my band of 12 years or so prior and told me he still had the 7" we'd released.

I got awestruck by this and more than a bit anxious, because, honestly, I was not the nicest person in those days. More likely to curse out an audience than to thank them, I was hot-headed, short-tempered, and nearly got into fistfights many times. To put it bluntly, I'm embarrassed at the way I acted and treated people in those days. We had 2 major areas that we played, our local area in upstate NY and the area in and around Wilkes-Barre, PA. The scenes' receptions to us were like night and day. Locally, we were reviled as killjoy militant straight edgers (we were not a straight edge band at any point) by the local drunk punx and skins. Wilkes-Barre was far more welcoming and supportive and the scene there was pretty nurturing and our friends there watched us grow from a barely competent trainwreck to a tighter more structured trainwreck. At home, rumors flew around that we hid in the bushes of the local college town, shooting BBs at drunken fratboys. Kids talked shit, fucked with us when we played, and I got quickly fed up and they got the reaction out of me that they were looking for. I got pissed off, violent and out of control.

I still talk to a few of the heads around here that did support us, one guy chuckles about the idiotic stuff and seems most impressed with the intricate, handmade packaging on the 7" we did. Another told me that it was because of a bunch of advice I gave him on putting out a record, that he went ahead and did it- again and again and he runs a pretty successful label now. Those are some of the things I am not embarrassed about, steps I took and things I did that made a positive impact. Also we were always very punctual. I get embarrassed when someone I don't know remembers that band. I don't know what they remember and which sides of me they saw. I clearly left an impression on this fellow, he recognized me after a decade. I don't know why though. I didn't ask.

The former of these moments was on a trip to the store, and I stopped in and asked the clerk for whatever I was getting that day, and he said to me "Hey, I recognize your voice..." and went on to tell me that he was in middle school when my radio show was on the local college station and he used to call in all the time and that he loved listening to my music and it was exactly the stuff that he liked. Again, this radio show was 14-15 years ago, and this guy recognized me by my voice. I asked his name and he did that thing where he says his first name and then says his first name again with his last name. Now, I had 2 clicks happen, one at each uttering of his name, these along with the surreal buzz going through my mind of the bizarrity that I had been voice-recognized for something I did once a week for 4 months a year (one non-consecutively). When he said his first name, I instantly remembered him calling all the time and my friend and co-DJ saying to me "Hey, it's so-and-so again. He wants to hear 7 Seconds. I think he's like 12." He was 12, by the by. Then when he said his first name with his last name, I recalled that this was the guy that replaced me when I got kicked out of another band. Once again, I got nervous and anxious because who knows what he'd heard. This was a big dopey thing with message board flaming and junk like that and me getting kicked out seemed to have a lot to do with scene-cred and I wasn't dressing "hardcore" but rather wearing linen clothes and no shoes. It also had a lot to do with my marriage that was failing and everytime I left to go to band practice it was a damn battle in the house and I came into practice constantly looking like a weary warrior and my lyrics got more and more bizarre (Red Riding Hood from the point of view of the woodsman, the life cycle of a tree, etc) and my stage presence was quickly devolving into my old ways, violent and confrontational.

When I got kicked out, the guys couldn't look me in the eyes, they couldn't come right out and get straight to the point. I knew what was happening and it was infuriating. That, combined with what was going on with my ex-wife led me to a lot of lashing out and name calling, really bitter stuff. And again, I don't know what this kid heard or remembered, or even if he put 2 and 2 together that I was the same guy.

It comes around, it goes around, and the impact I had in those days seems to have resonated with some people. And there I was, an angry, frustrated kid with no foresight to the positive or negative implications of my actions. What's that thing about burning bridges? Where it stands, I sit here everyday thinking about mistakes I've made and the things in life I can't fix. I get myself so far into a rut that I've all but forgotten the positive impact that I can have on people, and have had on people and hopefully currently have on people. I can't say that if I get recognized on some back-in-the-day thing again that I won't be embarrassed or nervous, but it's time to exorcise those demons because I have learned and grown from seeing my life from this side. I want to know what it looked like from out there and what I can do to have people remember me for positive actions more often.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The US Mombs were here and they said something about gouging your eyes out, mutha fucka!

I was gonna work on the Murdershift "Girls Don't Exist" Tape next, but Sammi from the US Mombs got in touch and asked if I could get her a copy of their demo. Seeing as not having a copy of your recording is about the suckiest thing that can happen to a band member, I happily obliged and got this all ready.
Anyway, the US Mombs were around about 10 or so years ago and all the kids in it were 13 or so at the time, which I always thought was awesome. I booked them to play a show with us (Willbreaker) and XfilesX at the Cirrhosis house in Rosendale. XfilesX dropped off because there was a blizzard, but the Mombs' Mom drove them up and we played a short sweet show in a house that smelled like someone poured bongwater on an already wet dog. The Mombs got into an accident on their way home, but escaped uninjured, thankfully. They were later to write a song about me called "John from New Paltz Smells," but I never got to hear it.
Many years later, I was walking around a local produce place and after doing eight or nine double takes on the cashier I gave a head nod and it turned out to be Will Momb. We tried to start a band together, but it didn't really work because I was bad at bass and we just ended up watching Rambo.
So the tape is 7 awesome songs, along with one song on there twice, a goofy intro and a song about Jorge. I have to admit to a small amount of editing, though. There were tape clicks between all of the songs and I took them out because they are my pet peeve, and also there's a sample that was barely audible so I added some decibels to it. I don't think I did anything to change the character of the tape, which is awesome young teenagers making a demo on a tape recorder.

US Mombs Demo

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Self Defense- No Holds Barred Demo

This is the demo my 2nd band did before we split ways and they got a new singer. 9 originals and a Negative FX cover. I just digitized this from an 82nd generation audio tape so sorry about the quality.

Up someday: Cro Mags and Striking Distance and a few others from Positive Numbers Fest 2002, Wilkes-Barre scene bands Bedford and True Identity last show recordings, Murdershift "Girls Don't Exist" demo and US Mombs demo among other things.

Self Defense- No Holds Barred Demo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

John Zorn Radio Hour

Here's something to enjoy. It's an hour long radio show with John Zorn. This guy is like the Infest of jazz. Worthwhile for so many reasons, but especially for his glowing descriptions of Napalm Death. Thanks to Carrie and Este for burning this for me. I guess the original was a promo release. I cut off the Naked City bonus cuts from here, as they appeared on one of the albums in exactly the same format.

John Zorn Radio Hour

Also, if things go as planned, I will have pics of Man is the Bastard forthcoming after their show in Brooklyn on the 28th

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nothing to do with nothing but...

I'm reading the Janis Joplin bio Buried Alive. Found some sick footage on the 'tube.

It also bears mentioning that Rising Up/Rising Down has gone on hiatus. Este is getting ready to go to Berkeley, Dan is still in Fucking Mess and the super secret Clutch the Orb and Justin is doing Butt Fuct Nixon with Mike Ferrara.

Also, Check out Doctor Scientist if you haven't yet. It's the fellas from Murdershift now living in Philly and timewarping music. Holy fuck. Their LP smokes if you can wiggle your brain free from the shackles of convention, maaaaaaaaan.

In other news, I'm completely out of the loop on EVERYTHING. I found and old box of cassettes that I wish I had a way to post up, because it included demos from Murdershift, and my favorite power violence band of 12-year olds (from 10 years ago) the US Mombs, among some other gems that mean nothing to no one like a mix someone gave me of all euro hc bands that no longer has a track list and practice/demos of my bands from 2000/2001.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gilded Age!!!!

Gilded Age. These dudes rip shit up. If you need comparisons, look to Crossed Out, No Comment, and to focus it more, Neanderthal. Very Neanderthal. Sick shit. Posting these with permission.
Gilded Age EP

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NEW Fucking Mess demo!!

New Mess demo Poisonous and Inviting. (Updated with the cover pic)