Monday, April 21, 2008

book report

When you travel around the country in a van, exhausting so many miles that you need an oil change every week, I have one piece of advice: bring a book. Lots of them. Regrettedly, I did not recount what I read during the Aiden tour in my blog last time - I think I subconsciously avoided breaking rank with the anti-intellectualism prevalent in rock bands of the past, present, and certainly future.

However, Philip Kindred Dick's sci-fi masterpiece Man in the High Castle, which I finished last tour, raises the question, what if America lost WWII? And to my liking, Dick's dystopic vision of this alternate reality at least at least a couple Jungian references. And after reading about the making of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme record, I learned that you can learn more about God from Coltrane than you can the Bible. So far on this tour, I've read The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, a book that ingeniously inverts the idea of the detective fiction genre by creating characters that are writers of crime fiction themselves. The detectives then get obsessivly caught in a trail of mysterious, dark and absurd cases that seem to lead nowhere. Sounds like me when I get hungry. Next is a classic: The Crying of Lot 49.

I know my book report might seem irrelevent and nerdy beyond belief, but sometimes a good book is the only way to conquer the mind-numbing fatigue of staring down the mid-West landscape.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The end is the beginning...

We are back on tour - drudging across the country with post-hardcore band From First to Last. And that means the blog is back too! Which means more pictures of vandalized public restrooms (see Albuquerque), pictures of us stuffing our faces, and more pictures of our merch guy, Chazz, performing mixed martial arts (And see Steve, above, illustrating the sacred blossoming of the Golden Flower). However, I feel that in some way I disappointed on the last blog - not enough sci-fi! Not enough horror! And not enough revelations of what life is like being on tour! Well I promise to take the blog to the next level, starting now. Want a revelation of tour life? Google "ouroboros." Or just watch the movie Groundhog Day.

We are in Colorado Springs now, about to rock the Black Sheep! There are some killer fans here already!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nature gone wild!

In Florida, there are often giant alligators chillin' in the swamp on the side of the highway. You can also buy shark fetuses at a gas station.

Also in Florida, you can get kicked off the stage. That's what happened tonight, when a song and a half into our set a devoted fan got kicked out for filming us. We stopped the song and Jonah yelled at the security guard to let him back in - the fan had our lyrics scrawled on his shirt for christ sake! Anyway, before you knew it, they kicked us off the stage! That's okay, the awesome fans of Orlando had our backs!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Allow me to poeticize

Driving South on I-5 through Northern California, you will see a sign - a monumental erection among the miles of farmland surrounding it - that reads "This blood was poured out for your sins." The blood dripping down off a hand to form a cross, the biblical allusion is obvious. In Clovis, New Mexico, on the side of East 84, there is a billboard displaying the Ten Commandments. In northern Texas, driving toward Oklahoma City, you will pass the world's largest cross. About 80 feet tall. Signs and monuments like these are scattered along our national highway system.

At the present, I am reminded of the past. We've been labeled 'Satanists.' And yes, as we pass countless roadside vestiges to religion, we're humming we've come to do the devil's work. And too, "why would you waste another word on God?" Put another way, we are the dark of the under-ground that the light of the above-ground mainstream fears. Everyone is dressed in white, we are shrouded in black. Black clothes, black hair, black makeup and black lyrics. Of course, we're not the first musicians to be 'demonized' for how we sound or or how we look. The marginalization can be traced back at least to when jazzers of the forties and fifties, who forged an avant-garde style of bebop in the smokey clubs of NYC, were playing the ignominious "devil's music." After that, hard rockers of the sixties and seventies were accused of mixing Satanic messages with occult imagery and Eastern mysticism. Impossibly, it's not music the populace fears, it is simply change, disobedience, iconoclasm, confusion and radicalism. The rock show is where we feel at home, where the darkness that the mainstream demonizes is what prevails.

After playing six shows in Texas, we are ascending deeper toward the South. The kids so far have been highly receptive and energetic.