Wednesday, December 30, 2009

middle-aged punk rock crime solving dinosaurs

was what someone googled and somehow ended up on my strange small corner of the Internets.

I was intrigued, of course, and realized that they were probably looking for this:

Not sure what this New Year's Eve holds for me, I find that when I don't make plans, what happens tends to be more interesting anyway.

these are not resolutions.

take one class a semester that looks interesting
get back into printmaking
take a road trip somewhere outside the state of Ohio (Detroit? Chicago?)
get my passport (everything's ready to go, just need to pay the fee)
take bass lessons
find somewhere to volunteer that won't burn me out
make a film with my grandma's 1958 8mm camera
finish one of my many unfinished art projects
discover something new within the Cleveland metro area

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

super clash playlist 12/22/09

I've never done a total themed show until last week, but it was Paul Simonon's birthday and the seventh anniversary of Joe Strummer's death so it felt appropriate. Since someone stole the station's copy of "London Calling" and I forgot mine at home, I downloaded it but played everything else off vinyl & CD.

the Clash - pressure drop
Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - get down moses
the clash - armagideon time
justice tonight dub
the guns of brixton
I'm so bored with the U.S.A. (request)
police on my back
koka kola (request)
joe strummer & the mescaleros - cool'n'out
the 101ers - steamgauge 99
the Clash - spanish bombs (request)
the right profile (request)
police & thieves
Julie's been working for the drug squad
straight to hell
joe strummer & the mescaleros - techno d-day
the Clash - hateful
i'm not down
ghetto defendant
if music could talk (request)
somebody got murdered
one more time
joe strummer & the mescaleros - johnny appleseed
arms aloft
the 101ers - keys to your heart
the Clash - 1-2 crush on you

Sunday, December 27, 2009

things I want

So there are two things that I fell in love with this weekend.

a stray cat.

an upright bass.

The cat is more feasible economically but we fear that our current feline will not be able to deal with another one. It took her a year to get used to ME and I feed her sometimes. but this one is so sweet and needs a home, currently living in my mom's neighbor's sunroom.

I stopped at Timeless Guitars because my dad said he saw an upright bass there. The one in the front room was a vintage Ampeg electric solid body upright but as it turned out, Clyde had about six acoustic uprights in the back room because he's awesome like that. Most music stores don't even carry them because they're so damn big and expensive but he's got several to choose from.

I love that place. Best guitar shop ever.

So I play an Engelhardt that runs about $850. It's nice and I love the way it feels. Then I try an old German one that's old and oh man do I feel like the greatest musician on earth like I could be jamming with John Coltrane or something. It just resonated and sang. I've been playing electric bass for about 10 years so it came easier than I thought it would.

Potential issues

#1 Too Damn Big
Neither of these will fit in my Toyota Corolla

#2 Amazing Upright bass is $2500, about what I paid for my first car.

What to do?

2010 can't come fast enough

This January first will be wonderful because 2009 will be done. There's been a lot of awesome this year but also just too many things that I just want to leave behind that have left me feeling just a bit jaded and fed up even as I've still been able to maintain some sense of awe and wonder. There was just too much drama and disintegration this year, watching a lot of things unravel and turn ugly, realizing that so many things are not what they appear to be. I've made no New Year's plans except possibly a photography day with the usual suspects but everything has just been too overwhelming.

this Christmas I had almost no "holiday spirit" and have figured it's probably overrated anyway. I did get some sweet gifts for people this time around... a Richard Nixon election bumper sticker for my cousin, a Who poster from a show that my dad went to back in the day, miscellaneous jewelry and CDs and coffee from Gypsy Beans and Ten Thousand Villages.

Ryan and Rebecca came up to visit and despite the unfortunate Greyhound ticket fiasco, it was wonderful to see them and we went to the Rockefeller Greenhouse and the art museum, got coffee at Gypsy, caught up on life, and such. Thankful for these interludes especially in times like these.

I got lost driving out to my cousins' house in Amherst, turning around in endless cul-de-sacs festooned with Christmas lights cursing Google Maps and wondering why I don't mind driving through truly sketchy parts of town but the hinterlands of Lorain County disorient me like nothing else.

I went to midnight mass at St. Ignatius after the festivities on Christmas Eve. I wanted quiet for my weary soul and it was perfect. The church was dark, and the choir was practicing and I sat in the pew soaking in the details of the architecture and enjoying the solitude. The church was packed out by 11:30 and the way that the cold building was lit up by candles held by people from every walk of life singing "Silent Night" was amazing and the building flooded with light as we sing the 'Gloria.'

I haven't been a practicing Catholic since I was in grade school and my family defected for an unconventional evangelicalism but around this time of year, I yearn for Advent candles and reconnecting with that part of my family history even though back in the day no one bothered with midnight mass.

I was exhausted and ducked out during offertory, going back to the place I was housesitting to sleep. Christmas morning was too depressing to recount in gory detail, but things brightened when we got to my grandparents' house and my cousins were there to make me laugh and I could just be embraced and vulnerable.

And that Cavs game was awesome. Seriously. It was priceless watching Kobe have a hissy fit and my team just dominating and being classy. Had a great time and reprised it on Saturday when the rest of the tribe came in.

In between lots of drama and random bright spots and trying to figure out how to deal with people that are literally insane while realizing that yes, I too am susceptible to clinical depression and that I still struggle with trying to drive through snow.

Here's hoping and praying for some brightness.

Monday, December 21, 2009

people, places, things

In order to keep myself sane, with the chaos going on with me right now, I'm currently housesitting for some friends again, finding that having that kind of space to myself and a big dog to walk does wonders.

Lindsay and I had a Cleveland adventure on Saturday, made a detour on the way to the West Side Market to a metalworking shop on west 17th off Abbey where they build awesome stuff out of leftover scraps like these:

Got lunch at the West Side Market Cafe and then continued on to Suite Lorain where I found an original re-elect Richard Nixon "Now More Than Ever" bumper sticker for my cousin, earrings, and black and white photos for future art project purposes.

Went to the Cleveland Handmade Market at the Lake Erie Screw Building where we got all inspired to do artistic things and I found a reprint of a concert poster of the Who for a show my dad went to back in the day where the James Gang and James Taylor opened, and James Taylor was booed off the stage.

The weather was icy so we gave up on driving out to "the end of civilization" on Mayfield Road, and cruised around Parma and Old Brooklyn looking at Christmas lights before hitting up Parmatown Mall, which is a great place to do Christmas shopping because no one goes there anymore.

Yesterday I went out after church and took pictures inside St. Theodosius because I was feeling all Christmasy and old school. I love that every inch of that building is handpainted and every time I've gone in, it smells like incense. Most of my photos didn't come out because of the smoke but still, it's a beautiful place.

crash course

New Year's Day, 2009, was marked by my dad and I trekking down to Hoopple's to see Glenn Schwartz play guitar and preach his particular brand of fire and brimstone. I think that set the tone for the rest of the year.

2009 has been one of the strangest years ever... rife with urban exploration misadventures, run-ins with shady characters, the death of the Sexy Saturn, familial drama, death, taxes, car crashes, bailing friends out of trouble, getting screwed for trying to help people in trouble, too much to go into here. My heart broke for my city and its people this year more than ever, and yet I'm still finding strange redemption even in the most warped of situations.

I've learned that guys say all sorts of things to try to get you to go out with them and that most of them aren't really true, and that most people in the business of helping people see it as a business and not a social service, learning that sometimes you actually have to deal with conflict instead of running away from it all the time, and who my true friends really are. I had a whole lot of crisis this year and I am so thankful for those who've seen me on my worst days, seen me cry, seen me freak out, and still love me anyway through my occasional spells of massive depression. Really, that says something.

and then the good stuff... going back to school part time, being immersed in cultures different than my own, exploring the ruins of our industrial past, constant hanging out at Edgewater soaking in the sun, walking on the beach, watching the sunset, catching some great shows, the amazing Bridge Project, picnicking Cleveland style on the back of an old Crown Vic eating Jamaican food at the Hessler Street Fair, meeting Neil Gaiman, Columbus adventures, playing lots of music, beautiful late night drives and a lot of laughter even at the bleakest moments.

I don't know what 2010 is going to look like but I feel like this year I've really learned a lot about the general suckitude and occasional profound moments of goodness in human nature and the constant goodness of God which I'm convinced is why the world isn't in even worse shape than it is right now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the farther I go the less I know

Everything is completely insane right now. I'm sorry for all the cancelled plans, the unanswered phone calls, the times where I might have just broken down and started crying in front of you. Sometimes belief isn't all that easy.

Sometimes you think you're doing the right thing and you're wrong. There's a reason why they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sometimes it comes back to haunt you that you tried to do to others as you want done to you.

"One foot in front of the other"

Friday, December 11, 2009

best of the blotter 10: stay classy, suburbs!

GUM SKIRMISH, HIGH SCHOOL: Around lunchtime on Nov. 23 at Medina High School, two students began wrestling over a piece of gum, but the match quickly escalated when one student got upset and allegedly assaulted the other with a chain. No injuries were reported by the victim.

THEFT FROM AUTO, INWOOD BOULEVARD: There were 15 incidents of theft from vehicles reported on Friday. Vehicles on Dellwood road, Moorewood Avenue and Fairfield Road were hit particularly bad, though thefts occurred Inwood Boulevard and Avon Belden as well. Though nothing was taken in many of the incidents, items stolen during the rash of break-ins included a Blackberry, a bag of court papers and photos of Dale Earnhardt.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

trouble sleep

I haven't been myself the past few weeks, hovering between interludes of everything being fine and something like depression, more just a moody thing that's usually remedied by massive quantities of hot tea, art supplies, Achtung Baby and Massive Attack and the noisy rock of my youth.

My lows are not what they were, and I'd hate to blame it on the weather or anything though I'm sure that hardly ever seeing sunlight and my year long sleep deficit can't possibly be healthy. And there's a whole lot in the way of changes and craziness that has come up too.

So I'm stepping back, reassessing, figuring out what I can do and what is too much.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

vladimir putin is gangsta

in a very real sense, I might add.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

all your music has too much guitar

My sister listens to indie rock. I honestly debate the rock tag and could maybe question the indie part of it too. Part of this is generational because I'm old and one can only listen to so many manorexics moaning over shimmery guitars.

Part of this is probably me playing the guitar and being far more excited by pyrotechnics and primal noise. If I had a college radio slot back when I was 19, I would have been playing the following instead of African pop and trip-hop. Sometimes I want to fill in on someone else's show so I can indulge my noisy urges, but that kind of thing just doesn't sound good at 5 in the morning.

I worshiped Fugazi all the way through college and would still love it if they'd get back together to record an album or maybe play a show somewhere within a hundred miles of Cleveland. I know they've got better things to do, but one can still dream. The jukebox in the basement of the Student Center at Kent had "Red Medicine" on the jukebox even though some of that feedback could clear the room.

Quicksand bridged the gap for me between what was on the radio and what the older kids at Tri-C were passing onto me. One of my art teachers hated this album and threatened to break it in half.

I still love Sonic Youth's guitars but couldn't get into it when I saw them at Kuyahoga Fest a few years ago. It was also raining really hard, the stage was far away, and Derek and I were huddled underneath his track jacket while everyone around us got really high. People on acid in the rain is lame, no matter what your parents say about Woodstock. That might have something to do with it.

I still find it hilarious when I hear parents talk about how their kid is "an emo." I also know that their kid probably has no clue who this band is.

I'm not as angsty as I was, but I still love some bitter pop-punk and this cut off the Clerks soundtrack is the best Fleetwood Mac cover ever.

The world would be a much better place if the radio played Jawbox instead of Candlebox. Just sayin'

When I went to DC a few years back, we ended up at some now-defunct gallery/venue where I bought the first Jawbox record on vinyl and ended up talking to the door guy who was so excited to meet someone from Cleveland because "so many awesome bands like Devo came from there."

And lastly, because this post needs more estrogen besides bassist named Kim, Kristin Hersh gets mad props too for acoustic loveliness and rocking well into middle age.