Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All my best friends are metalheads...

Lucero was awesome. I made my way into a pit for the first time since Flatfoot 56. I’m getting too old for pits, especially the full-blown hardcore bust-over-the-head type pits. In order for me to make my way into pits anymore, the vibe has to be perfect – the crowd has to have a positive buzz, a bunch of folks there to have a good time, and I also have to be feeling the music, too.

This one was perfect, a crowd that pleasantly drunk, just out for fun, not out for blood, just there to reel with the music, to make enjoying Lucero a common experience. And reel we did… it was perfect. At one point, during “Nights Like These,” the whole pit stopped, and shouted

“The beer tastes like blood, my mouth is numb.
I can't make the words I need to say
She had a weakness for writers, and I was never that good with words anyway.”

Then we all high-fived one another, and the music ctarted rolling again, and so did we.

I’ve said it before, but Ben Nichols is a poet, and I like to meet him, and I’d like to meet his muse.

Man, what is a muse?

In Greek mythology, there were nine of them, and they were goddesses who presided over the arts, and inspired the artists. But that was a long time ago, when Greek art, music, poetry, etc. was all pretty structured. Back then, as one who aspires to be a writer, I would have answered to Calliope perhaps, who was a pretty little thing who inspired epic poems. Oddly enough, her lover was Ares, the god of war, and they had kids together.

It just goes to show that opposites attract, I guess, for those of us who subscribe to that particular lyric “The opposite of war isn’t peace – it’s creation” - which as a musical lyric may have been inspired by the Muse Erato, who inspired lyric poetry. She was well-known for inspiring love and erotic poems, but was never really hooked up with any gods. She was then either getting it on with everyone, or a tragic figure that inspired what she wasn’t having.

In any case, nine Muses were fine when the world was smaller and the art more rigid. But they don’t really cut it now. I think that as the world got bigger, and the poets, artists, lovers and dreamers spread around the world, the Muses found they couldn’t handle the increased workload, so they allowed the creation of more muses (not the change to the lowercase).

Somehow, for better or for worse, everyone who aspires to create now finds their own muse, one who’s always there to inspire the artists to make their own particular brand of art. Except of course when the muse is not there, which is frustrating, sometimes, but sometimes it’s also even more frustrating when they are around.

I think, as the lineage of the muses got watered down, and they got scattered throughout the world, they changed. They’re not related to one another, at least not in appearance, and they very rarely have anything in common with one another. When a muse goes away for a while, it’s a safe bet he/she’s not hanging out with other muses. Except when he/she comes back looking like he/she’s been in a bar fight. Then he/she was around other muses. Or he/she was just in a bar fight.

But where do our muses come from? Do we create them, or do we find them? Or do they find us? If we don’t create them, where are they before and after us? Do they travel from artist to artist? Or are they born with us, and will die with us. If they will die with us, what inspires muses to inspire suicidal, tragic poets to die young, unless they themselves are suicidal tragic figures who want to die young?

And if my muse is older than I am, who did he help before? I mean honestly, who would want this muse other than me? Who would really be inspired by a barefoot, dirty, towheaded, socially awkward, mildly manic, slightly offensive, pleasantly drunk muse other than me?

What’s your muse look like?

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Nights Like These

"She had a weakness for writers, and I was never that good with words anyway."


I love this band. I have always wanted to see this band. Frontman Ben Nichols is a poet that sounds like a country-fried Kurt Cobain, and I worship every release they've done.

Did I mention I like them?

Well, here's the deal. They're playing tonight, and I'm going. But it gets better. They're playing the Ferndale Drunkfest DIY Fest! Which means, I will ride my bike to watch them play outside, while I sit in the grass and drink beer and talk to my friends.

Which is the best way to see a band like this.

I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends tonight, to raise a beer and say goodbye to the summer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President!

I love this, because I agree with him. Kanye West IS a jackass.

"I know we're all sad about Patrick Swayze, but Micheal Jackson did the best celebrity death of the year!" - Kanye West

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Ago...

I won't say much about it, except to point out this poster that came out seven years ago.

It's a poster that I and another artist created at the ad agency I worked for at the time. It remains some of my best work, I think. I hadn't really thought about it in a while, until an old coworker posted it on FaceBook today.

Beatles Rock Band has made it to our house... so yeah, not much is getting done round there. The only way that things are even getting tidied up is that folks are coming over tonight... you know, to play Beatles Rock Band.

Labor Day came and went in a road trip to Chicago. It was a good time, as all Labor Days should be, a day off and saying goodbye to the summer. I do, however, try to take a moment to think about what that day is about. My dad was a union man, and at one time, I've was part of the UAW as well.

I know the unions have done a lot for my family, for a few generations now; I come from a few generations of factory and auto workers. There will always be a blue collar wrapped around my heart.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Poor, poor Paprika...

Originally uploaded by alpharat
So this morning, Paprika reached out to all of her friends as well as some casual acquaintances, via Facebook.

It seems that she was robbed at gunpoint in London last night. The crooks took all of her money and her plane ticket, but fortunately not her passport, but she was stranded. She just needed a loan to pay for her hotel, get a cab to the airport and a plane ticket.

Personally, I don't know why she wouldn't have paid for her hotel with a credit card, and I would think the airport would be able to take care of her as long as she had her passport, but what do I know? I wasn't there.

Fortunately, I told her that I knew some guys in London who owed me cash and a favor. If she would just tell me where to meet her, I would send some guys over with 1,200 pounds for her. There was no need to worry about the safety of the transaction I told her, because I trusted these guys, and they were also very big. A bunch of hooligans I told her, but nice guys.

Anyway, if she would just give me a location, the six of them would bring her an envelope full of cash, and take her to the airport.

I'm not sure why, but she never responded after that. Then she even unfriended me.

Maybe it's because the real Paprika was sleeping soundly in Texas at the time.

Then again, what do I know.

So I'm happy she made it back to Texas safely without ever realizing the trauma she had been through in London, and here's hoping that Facebook fixes this ASAP.