I get what this asshole is trying to do. This is his equivalent of shouting squirrel. The media will chase it. He does this because he wants to bury something bad that the media has dug up on him. But fuck him. I'm not one for the burning of the flag, but I totally get the freedom of expression behind the action. But fuck this asshole.
Not like anybody, except for Jason, is paying attention, but this past weekend marks 22 years after my very first band, Bermans & Arrival recorded its debut album. We spent seven days in the recording studio. This was a time when musicians recorded music to giant rolls of tape and you did everything live. Here's Johnny Viewpoint, the opening track from Lilac She Said.
It's sloppy and a mess. The tempo is all over the place. The warts are obvious. But it captures the youthful exuberance of friendship; the musical snapshot of four friends learning how to write music together. I cut my teeth playing music with Jason, Dan and Matt and have always considered them brothers. We'd go on to write better songs and become better musicians. Some of us, I'm looking at you Dan, would tour the world in a band.
22 years later, I'm still proud of this album.
Once upon a time, many years ago, I was in love with new music, and finding new artists to fall in love with. On Tuesdays I would rush to the local record store to buy albums by random bands because I had read a review in CMJ or Spin. Aside from how the reviewer described the band in the review, I rarely had any idea what these bands sounded like. I discovered some of my favorite bands this way, bands like Pavement, Teenage Fanclub, Slowdive, Stone Roses, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Saint Etienne to name but a few. These bands spoke to me, not just in the lyrics, but in the way they approached songwriting and sound.
I kept up with new music into my early to mid-30s. Then one day I woke up feeling old. I started to find new music and artists to be a bore. That's not to say that I wouldn't be blown away by a killer new album or two or three a year, but new music stopped speaking to me.
I'd listen to a new band on iTunes and more often than not I would think that I'd heard this sound before and better. I don't need a new band to sound like New Order or Echo and the Bunnymen. I'd rather listen to those bands that I grew up listening to versus the new bands that were derivative of some of my favorite bands.
These days it's harder to impress me with new music. I'd rather reach into my crate (increasingly digital these days) and listen to my favorite bands versus whatever kinds of noise the kids are making these day. However, every so often I'm blown away or moved by a song or a band.
That's what happened today.
When I woke I decided that I was going to run out to Mackworth Island to do a seven mile loop. It had been more than a few weeks since I last ran to Mackworth. Before heading out I downloaded the latest album by Shearwater, called Jet Plane and Oxbow. I've always liked Shearwater. They're an odd band, probably a somewhat acquired taste. Dense. Literary. Back in the day they would have been described as college rock. I'd read a few very positive reviews of the newest album and figured it would probably be a good soundtrack to my run to the ocean.
At around mile three I was starting to feel tired. I didn't sleep well the night before and was questioning my decision to run seven miles. I was thinking that I should turn back and cut my run short. But I pushed on because of a line that came over my headphones just before I came up to Mackworth Island via the causeway, "Sometimes you're so tired of the country you could run to the ocean and surrender your life." That line stopped me in my tracks. I looked up and Mackworth and the Atlantic Ocean were ahead of me.
That line stuck with me for the rest of my run. It resonates now as I type.
Thank god for music and the simple joys music can bring.
I feel like it's only recently that maybe, just maybe, I've become a photographer.
I recently loaded my Yashicamat 124g with a fresh roll of Ektar 100. It's been a while since I shot film. There's nothing stellar about the first roll of film that I shot. The goal was to make sure everything was in working order and to reacquaint myself with the process of using the camera.
What I like most about using the Yashicamat is that you work slowly. And that's a good thing. In this digital age, where everything is immediate, it's good to move slower, more deliberate.
Before leaving for Maui I decided that I wanted to travel light, at least with regards to camera gear. I find that I sometimes bring more than I need, so this trip I look a less is more approach. I bought a total of four lenses, a few of which aren't lenses that I would typically travel with. I went with a 16-35mm, 15mm fisheye, 50mm, 100mm macro and 135mm. I also picked up a 10-stop neutral density filter. I've never used a filter before. The top shot was the first photo I took with it.
I keep practicing.
The ocean was still today. And the sea air made me feel alive.
Every day I see the ocean. It's awesome.