Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Unnamed 0

I don't mind that I can't sing,
Can’t carry a tune;
I don't mind that I can't dance,
I don't mind that I don't smile;
The last I laughed was months ago
Though it seems like years.
I don't mind the falling hair,
My hands more bone than flesh;
I don't mind the headaches,
The bitter nausea in my mouth;
I don't mind the blurry vision,
The fact I can't quite hear;
I don't mind that I don't mind
Or can't remember who I am;
I don't mind the pain when I think of you,
Mistakes I've made so gross they trade their place with me;
I don't mind the job,
I don't mind the wage;
I don't mind the small bedroom
Covered in dust and ruins;
I don't mind the politics,
I don't mind the ban;
I don't mind the music,
I don't mind that I don't write anymore,
I don't mind that I'll never know or find out,
I don't mind the fright,
I don't mind the quiet,
I don't mind the noise,
I don't mind the voices in my head
No, I don't mind at all
They say there is a meaning
They say they call it love
But I don't mind believing
That there never was.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spots of Light

I live in an ever darkening world, where zealots and priests shun the light and leaders act as cowardly bigots, denouncing the "other" and promote fear and hate. And no, for once I'm not talking about WoW. Though seeming less real at times, the physical world, especially the unfortunate region I happen to occupy, has seen better days, better years. Looking at old films, you'd think there was such a thing as "hope" once, before this dream turned into a nightmare.

And maybe you'd be right. I cannot otherwise provide a good explanation to the existence of some of the artists I've been exposed to at late. I know their spirits did not spring out of mere vacuum, because you can feel their pain and joy, memories and yes- hopes, in their voices and lyrics. And I know that they would not have been able to reach out to their listeners if they hadn't had some little sparks of their own. And these sparks are brighter when it's dark.

That spark is shining pretty strong in Carl Hauck, a young singer-songwriter from Illinois. Upon hearing "Windjammer", the title song from his latest LP, I was swept into a summer field of butterflies, bright light and a feeling of freshness I could almost touch. The rest of the record, a deeply personal work born out of coming home and coming to terms, is also written and composed beautifully, like, as the first song suggests, a fine Riesling, bursting with life in all its shades and hues.

It makes one almost dare to hope.

Check out Carl Hauck on his website, MySpace and Facebook. Windjammer will be out on November 9th, 2010, accompanied by special concerts:
11/5 – Champaign, IL – Mike ‘n Molly’s w/ Jesse W. Johnson & The Brothers Burn Mountain
11/10 – Chicago, IL – Martyrs’ w/ Andy Davis

Carl Hauck - Martial Riesling {MP3}
Carl Hauck - Windjammer {MP3}

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Lonely Mariner

Another year, another drink,
A little closer to the brink,
I stumble slowly on this ship,
Hesitant to find a grip
,Flapping wild hands with care
Lest accomplish what I dare,
To forsake this dire crew
And step into the sea, askew.

And there I'll walk or maybe swim,
Dipping fully in the dream;
Crossing paths with stars and clowns,
Rubbing nose with those who drowned,
Free to roam the land below,
Mermen, crabs and ghosts in tow;
O, such a cheery entourage we'll be,
Down there, below the sea.

But the air here, it grows thick,
As I pour myself another drink,
The crew rebels and then lays waste
To whatever left, emblazed;
And I remain, all tattered chains,
Linked to rudder and the reins,
To sail this broken ship once more
And to dream of distant shores.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bare Essentials

Have you ever experienced the moments where you truly feel the music, when you're truly immersed in the song, seeming to understand not exactly what the authors may intended, but rather a more general context not confined to any particular time, region or notion? A rare occurrence, usually interrupted by a passerby who just can't seem to understand the peace you've suddenly embraced? An incident you can't reproduce nor hope to, merely chance upon? A singular, intolerated piece of serenity? That after it, still struggling in vain to comprehend, you can look into the artist's eyes and say, "yes, I understand you now". And then forget. You always forget.

But sometimes there's a residue, lingering, half made up and part rooted in near sighted myths, that either sits dormant at the back of your mind till the next time or, on occasion, begs to realize itself somehow. But, it seems the realization may be just as tricky as the inevitable failed attempt at reconstruction, and all that comes up are regurgitated words bearing the aftertaste of memory. So, I'll try to keep it simple.
Two songs. Death. Life. Love. One wonders if there really is anything else.


It has been a few days since I started writing this. I stopped here for several reasons, a few personal, others prosaic. But I cannot ignore the deep silence that follows these songs, the silence that makes me listen, if only too briefly, once more. It somehow shows me things that truly matters, illuminating my inner dark. For, while consciously I do not want to die, sub-consciously I'm not sure I want to live. These "songs", for lack of a better word, sharpen the dull pain and make me feel again. And though the ache is near physical in magnitude, I'd prefer to feel it than to be walking around dead and unfeeling.

Sometimes things connect in life. Sometimes things have meaning, even if you can't put it into words, or maybe especially when it alludes you. But you know, somehow. At least for a little while.

The Tallest Man on Earth has released, unbeknownst to me (and I have been waiting), a second LP earlier this year titled Wild Hunt. "Like the Wheel", a bonus track on the iTunes version, has touched me the deepest on this excellent record.
Björk's "All Is Full of Love" (found on her Greatest Hits) haunts me on parallel lines, as if the two songs were completing each other (or me) somehow.
I am grateful for them both.

The Tallest Man on Earth - Like a Wheel

Björk - All Is Full of Love

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Year One

A year has passed.

A year since I first walked out from under the boughs of Ashenvale, a cybernetic newborn in a strange new world. I've since have gained and lost friends, experienced wonders and horrors, died and lived in countless ways and methods and through it all lost more sleep hours than I'd care to think. I've neglected this blog, my music, my writing, my family and friends. I've traded one world for another, opted for another reality. I've canceled cable TV, gotten even more cranky than ever and had more fun than I ever had late into the night.

I am trapped. Trapped in my day job as much as in my nightly occupations. Held by fear and habit I cannot escape myself. But is escape any longer possible? Into where?

There are those who mark the coming holiday as a celebration of freedom and liberty. I choose to remember the wiser lesson that to be free is to choose that which you serve, that which you are a slave to. There is no escape. There is nothing but escape.

Monday, January 18, 2010

No Shortcuts

To say that Her Name is Calla, a Leeds / Leicester / York group is special is a profound understatement, almost as profound as their music and what may stand behind it. Indeed, every artist is, I'd like to hope, is unique in their own way. I believe that aside from the inescapable outside influence, the artist has to have something original, in content, form, point of view or any other mark of distinction, to contribute.

I find that the best of these contributions defy any categorization, that it is simply to be felt and experienced. Her Name is Calla possesses such an emotional core that would offer glimpses into not only the members' hearts but also the listeners'. It gives the impression of loneliness and isolation, living together but apart, a distant promise of something more, of an endless spacious road going on to the horizon. And the band doesn't take any shortcuts. The road has no end.

Go out to the open, away from buses and cities, and listen. Her Name is Calla latest single, "Long Grass", may sweep you off your feet, and once you're on the road, there's no telling where you may end up. The full length album, "The Quiet Lamb", is expected to be released by spring, followed by a tour for those lucky in Europe.

Check out Her Name is Calla on their website, MySpace and last.fm.

Her Name is Calla - Long Grass {MP3} (hosted for a limited time only)
Her Name is Calla - Long Grass (acoustic) {Video}

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Voice in the Wind: Paul Masson

2009 was not a good year for me. Its end in particular more than hints ominously of things to come, foreshadowing grim news and grimmer prospects. I lost several people I love who were my supporting pillars ever since childhood. My current job is in its final days and while the search for a new one continues, nothing tangible has yet been found. Accompanying and clouding all of this is my addiction to my own private world (perhaps in more ways than one), turning whatever reason I have left in my sleepless existence into a murky and blurry mood.

But there is still a little hope left. I may be sitting on a wind beaten precipice overlooking the abyss, but it's also quiet enough here and I can still reflect on the road I've been taking and the people who share it. I can still hear the song in the wind, calling out to me. "Change or Die", it taunts. "Come home", it whispers.

Paul Masson came back home to Baltimore after being away for a few years. Coming back, he crafted a beautiful and honest EP about himself. Reflecting his memories and feelings, doubts and fears, he focused it all into six songs that continue to echo after the music has gone out. Hear his voice carried in the wind.

And as for me? No New Year's resolutions except to keep my ears, eyes and mind open; there are still voices in the wind.

Check Paul Masson on MySpace for more tracks. His EP is available on iTunes.
Paul Masson - My Girl Baltimore {MP3}
Paul Masson - Where Have All the Gentlemen Gone {MP3}